Churchill LRT station artwork to honour our grandmothers

ETS is collaborating with the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights on the Canada 150 “Paint the Rails” legacy project. The painting of the first artwork started on November 14 at Churchill Square LRT Station. Edmontonians are invited to interact with artists Carla Taylor and Dana Belcourt during the live painting of the first “Paint the Rails” mural, Returning Home.


Returning Home by Carla Rae Taylor and Dana Belcourt

The piece is a progressive triptych that starts with the feature wall (curved wall). There will be an image of a grandmother whose shawl turns into a giant wing, surrounding and protecting the people as they jump from her hand and walk beside Edmonton's river and return to their homes safely. Incorporated into the piece are key locations, such as Beaver Hills and the neighbouring area, which in the indigenous history of the land, was the traditional camp where teepees would be erected.

Above the wing there is a clothes line with red dresses blowing in the wind. In our piece ‘Returning Home’ the red dresses morph into birds flying into the night sky and eventually become the stars, as though the souls of our sisters are returning home to the great mystery.

The second of the pieces, will be a continuation of the river with the birds flying above into the night sky.

The third of the pieces, will again be a continuation of the river, but instead with a celestial scene above Beaver Hills.

As water and the moon are directly associated with women, they will be incorporated throughout all three pieces, in the form of the river and the moon cycles. The idea is to emphasize these feminine elements as a way to honour both the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the Watching and Protective Grandmother. These ideas that were strongly expressed in the engagement sessions.