Derek Edenshaw on the Leona Edenshaw Memorial Mural

Pestilence – Derek Edenshaw, 2017

Pestilence – Derek Edenshaw, 2017

What is the story behind your Mural? 

My Mother was a well known Haida who lived on Salish Territories for 30 years. She was selfless, always prioritizing everyone over herself. She passed far too young in 2016. The piece is a memorial mural in honour of her dedication to making East Van a better place. The response has been amazing, but what matters most to me is that my Mother still has representation on the streets.

How have people reacted?

Judging from the tones of messages from family and friends, people are appreciative. We lack honour and respect for Aboriginal women—dead or alive. There should be more Memorial pieces.

What's your story?

I am a lifelong student of multimedia. It started with Haida song, dance, and storytelling. As I have grown up I’ve learned about what media means, how it’s lacking in my community, and how I can use it for good. Haidas have been putting large murals on buildings for thousands of years. VMF has added another extremely powerful form of media for me to use. Not to mention all that I've learned about scaling art up and how I could work more efficiently on the next mural.

What's your take on VMF?

Vancouver Mural Fest has an important place in Vancouver because it is an uncensored Youth narrative. Through different visual tales, we can show the world a new approach to life in Vancouver. The bright colours are a great balance to the needles and death of the East Side. The colours are needed for humans to enjoy life; they can bring us back to our first spring on Earth. Pure expression. A mural can be a teaching tool, a way to document history, or nonsensical humour, all of which has a place.

MURAL LOCATION: 291 2nd Ave E.

David Vertesi