New Westminster - The City of New Westminster is excited to announce a new year-long public artwork now installed on the front windows of Anvil Centre, presented in partnership with Capture Photography Festival. Curl Mapped by Rebecca Bair tackles the complex, colonial history of archives to represent that which is absent: traces of Black settlers in this region.
Bair spent significant time in the City’s archives, housed inside Anvil Centre, poring over the leather-bound ledgers, reading the handwritten notes, and examining the photographs therein only to discover a gap – what she describes as “a ghost in the space.” In Curl Mapped, Bair interrupts parts of an archival map with curly tendrils of hair, which for her is symbolic of heritage and cultural care.
“I am excited to see we are working with Capture Photography Festival once again to bring engaging public art to our community,” said Mayor Patrick Johnstone. “This work by Rebecca Bair is a striking addition to our Downtown streetscape and will generate meaningful dialogue about how history is shaped and the stories told and untold about New Westminster.”
Rebecca Bair is a Vancouver-based interdisciplinary artist who uses multimedia approaches and sun collaborations to illustrate her exploration of identity and intersectionality through the lens of her own experience as a Black Woman on Turtle Island. Her artistic, professional, and educational goals revolve around themes of celebrating Black plurality, as well as enabling interpersonal and intercultural care. Her work acts as a vehicle through which the complexities of history and identity can be uncovered, redefined, and expressed.
Curl Mapped is on view April 1, 2023 to March 1, 2024 at Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia Street in New Westminster. The public is invited to attend an artist talk and opening reception at Anvil Centre on April 27 at 5pm. Check out the event listing on our website in the coming weeks for more details.
Launched in 2013, Capture Photography Festival occurs annually in April and aims to connect Vancouver to the world through lens-based art, which is exhibited at dozens of galleries and other venues throughout Metro Vancouver.
For more information about Curl Mapped and the City’s public art program please visit: newwestcity.ca/publicart
Public Art Coordinator
City of New Westminster