For artist Jeremy Herndl, spending 70 hours at the Regina Park tent city to capture Camp Namegans on a painting is about being there to witness it, and not to speculate on it from afar.
“There’s all this speculation about what’s going on here but really it’s just people trying to find a place to live,” Herndl said. “Yes, there is addiction. We should be coming to the service of these people.”
Herndl spent five to six hours there a day. The landscape painter captures nature but also goes for the real scenes of life, not just the idyllic.
The goal is to recognize why people need to live in a tent, and how they’ve come together, he said.
“A landscape [painting] should show the people who live and work there,” Herndl said. “Basically I’m standing here painting, to be here, to talk to people to hang out and be a witness to it and document it.”
Two years ago Herndl captured the Victoria Super Intent City at the courthouse with a series of paintings that have hung in Victoria and as far away as Prince George.
“One of the things about a painting is people tend to stop and look at it, whereas people aren’t looking at this place in a way that they should be.”