The mural dedicated to reconciliation along the Seaton tunnel is now complete, but for a few touch ups by individual artists.
The Seaton Mural Splash is a unique project done in joint between the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and the Saanich Police, with a group of local artists in creative control over the direction of the 50-foot-long mural. They started in early June and completed the bulk of the work, as a group, by July 28, though some were free to return to tidy up their art over the last week.
Project lead Jesse Campbell, who’s been part of many murals around Greater Victoria, said this one presented logistical challenges. Among them, a gentle slope, as well as the corrugated edges of the concrete wall.
“At one point, early, we did consider applying wood [to create a smooth surface] but that was going to be costly,” Campbell said.
The mural was broken in to individual pieces that melded together. It was a first for each artist, including Campbell, as they learned to deal with the angles of the protruding concrete edges as they applied their designs.
“You can paint a piece and stare straight at it, but then you take a few steps to the right, and you have to re-think the angles, so you make adjustments,” Campbell said.
One of the youth artists was Tyrone Charlie, who sought inspiration from his Ahousaht First Nation background, bringing out the Thunderbird with a wolf painted on the belly.
“This came from my heart, if felt right, it’s a mix [of different Thunderbirds from the West Coast],” Charlie said.
Also working on the project are Wilson Tutube (Uclulet First Nation), Mekayla Whitney (Duck Lake Cree) and Sionainn Phillips, a Mi’kmaw artist who grew up in Victoria.
One of Phillips’ pieces on the mural is of an eagle coddling a woman, herself, done in the style of Mi’kmaw art.
“It’s a self portrait of me growing up on this island and being embraced by the community,” Phillips said.
The goal of the Seaton Mural Splash was to inspire the community in a place that was overrun with graffiti, and overlooked as a valuable conduit despite how many pedestrians and cyclists travel through it each day.