Archive for the ‘graffiti art’ Category

Hello Kitty graffiti

July 18, 2012

It’s been awhile since I posted any graffiti images, but I couldn’t resist sharing this photo I took at Vancouver’s Commercial Drive Skytrain station a couple days ago. Who put the friendly feline there? How? Why? Were they trying to spread cheerful cuteness, or saying something more cynical?


It Takes a Community to Bomb a Cherry Tree

March 7, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, I helped a cherry tree blossom early. Knitters, crocheters, authors, book-lovers, and other supporters of Joy Kogawa House gathered to festoon the bare backyard cherry tree with hundreds of hand-knitted and crocheted blossoms. The Sunday afternoon event and several knit-ins leading up to it (including one held at Vancouver City Hall) was organized to help draw attention to the heritage site and the Joy Kogawa House writer-in-residence program.

The house was the childhood home of Canadian author Joy Kogawa –until WW II, when the house was expropriated and the family  forced to move, along with other Japanese-Canadians, to an internment camp in the BC interior. Thanks to the rallying of community members and a national fund-raising campaign (2003-2006), the house is now owned by The Land Conservancy of BC, a non-profit land trust, and a writer-in-residence program is operated on the site, helping to connect authors with the local community and encourage an appreciation for Canadian writing (see the Joy Kogawa House website for more info).

Joy Kogawa mentions the house in her novels, “Obasan” and “Naomi’s Road“, while the cherry tree itself is the focus of Kogawa’s picture book, “Naomi’s Tree.”

As an appreciator of cherry blossoms, books, and yarn-bombing, I couldn’t resist participating in the blossom event and sharing some photos:

Blossoms were created at local knit-ins lead by knit graffiti artists Leanne Prain and Mandy Moore, and were also mailed in from other locations.

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Participants at Sunday’s event crocheted chains, knitted “bark,” and attached the knitted and crocheted blossoms to the chains while authors read from their works.

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Outside, others sewed “bark” around the tree’s trunk and tied blossom chains to the tree.

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Vancouver Firefighters attached blossoms to the highest branches.

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Overhead, an eagle soared.

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All in all, a beautiful day and a beautiful event.

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More photos of the event will be posted at

Blossoms will stay in place on the tree throughout the month of March, so if you’re in Vancouver, stop by 1450 West 64th Ave to have a look.

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(Hidden among the blossoms in the final photo are three that I knit, and there is also a glimpse of the “bark” I knitted for a very skinny branch in behind.)

Graffiti variety pack

June 6, 2010

It feels like ages since I last blogged and even longer since I posted any graffiti images, so I decided to share a few of my favourite graffiti discoveries over the past few months. I heard a rumour (maybe it was a Tweet) that stencil images of the original Spock had appeared at various locations along Vancouver’s Commerical Drive. So I went down to search them out about a week ago. I walked up and down the drive between First Ave and Venables (stopping for lunch at Cafe de Soleil, candy at Dutch Girl Chocolates, etc), but no sign of Spock. It wasn’t until I gave up and headed home that I finally spotted this one at the Commerical Drive entrance to the Broadway Sytrain station:

Another image from Commerical Drive (is the crow checking out what looks like a giant bug graffitied across the dumpsters?):

In April I was cutting through the parking lot at Georgia and Cambie (proposed site for a new Vancouver Art Gallery building) and came across this shopping cart (?) art:

I liked the colour against the torquoise wall. Unfortunately, the cart wasn’t there the last time I walked through the lot.

And finally, these last two images are of knitted graffiti that I stumbled upon on a visit to a Gabriola Island beach in March (my first live sighting of yarn bombing!):

Where do you stand on doors?

July 12, 2008

Photos of picturesque doors have become a bit of a chiche in recent years. There is even a Simpsons episode in which Bart and Lisa go antiquing with a new gay friend of Homer’s, and Bart photographs doors.

I admit that I too like to photograph doors. Perhaps it’s their mundaneness and, conversely, their universally symbolic quality. Doors are an ordinary part of everyday existence, but they can also imprison and hide secrets or they can open to freedom and new possibilities. They contain thresholds over which we may fear or yearn to step.

Here are some doors that caught my eye in Vancouver this past year:

And one more that I stumbled across when I was somewhat lost in East Vancouver recently:

Small town, big park

August 14, 2007

I’m always on the look out for interesting graffiti and bits of creative colour in the city. This past weekend I was at a family reunion in the small BC interior city of Vernon and came across this skateboard park.

Vernon skateboard park

When I was a teenager there was no such thing as a skateboard park or a skateboard store (at least not outside of California). My boyfriend and his friends were possibly the first skateboarders in our town. They had to special-order their boards through the local bicycle shop, build their own 1/4 pipe out of plywood, then haul it around town on the back of an old pickup truck until they found an empty parking lot in which to set up (luckily most grocery stores were closed on Sundays back then, and Safeway had a loading ramp that you could use to get up good speed).

new angel sightings

June 7, 2007

angel at construction siteangels under the Skytrain

More one-inch art

June 5, 2007

Here are some buttons I made featuring local graffiti art (my thanks to the unknown artists).

graffiti buttons

Angels watching over us

May 30, 2007

I came across these angel graffiti images at two different locations in downtown Vancouver. I like the whimsical, yet faceless nature of the angels. Like they are waiting there for anyone who needs them, their blank, non-judging faces ready to be whatever someone needs them to be.

angel graffitiangel graffiti2

The writing is on the wall!

January 31, 2007

Yesterday I discovered this graffiti on a neighbourhood wall and received an email about action to raise awareness about Global Warming. It seemed appropriate to pass them both on:
global warming graffiti

The 1st of February 2007:

Participate in the biggest mobilization of Citizens Against Global Warming!

The Alliance for the Planet (a group of environmental associations) is calling on all citizens to create 5 minutes of electrical rest for the planet.

People all over the world should turn off their lights and electrical appliances on the first of February 2007, between 1.55 pm and 2.00 pm in New York, 18.55 for London, and 19.55 for Paris, Bruxelles, and Italy. 1.55pm in Ottawa, 10.55am on the Pacific Coast of North America.

This is not just about saving 5 minutes worth of electricity; this is about getting the attention of the media, politicians, and ourselves.

Five minutes of electrical down time for the planet: this does not take long, and costs nothing, and will show all political leaders that global warming is an issue that needs to come first and foremost in political debate.

Why February 1? This is the day when the new UN report on global climate change will come out in Paris.

This event affects us all, involves us all, and provides an occasion to show how important an issue global warming is to us. If we all participate, this action can have real media and political weight.

Please circulate this call to your utmost ability to your network.

Dumpster decorating

December 18, 2006

Some graffiti is just plain ugly vandalism, with no display of creativity (the tag and run variety). But some adds a touch of colour and character to stretches of drab urban landscape. The graffiti in the header at the top of this blog, for example, lends a feeling of life to a strip of characterless industrial buildings along the Skytrain line. The wild blackberries that threaten to swallow the graffiti, add another dimension, insinuating nature’s presence back into the scene.graffiti

To get the  photo for the header, I had to jump a ditch, walk along an overgrown stretch of abandoned train tracks and push my way through some bushes. I’m not sure what the few people who noticed thought I was doing. I also took this dumpster and Skytrain photograph (one of my favourite graffiti photos) near that same spot. What do you think? Vandalism or art?

When I came across these pink hearts painted on a blue dumpster near my house, then discovered pink hearts painted on other blue surfaces, I couldn’t help smiling and wondering about the whimsical artist who was compelled to go out in the middle of the night and clandestinely paint hearts all over the neighbourhood. graffitiIntriguing things happen in the city at night (aside from drug dealings, etc.). There’s a whole other world layered over top of the day-time one — populated by roving raccoons, coyotes and graffiti artists……