A mural recently completed in the Downtown Eastside stands as one of the largest public art installations Vancouver has ever seen.
Stretching 21 metres tall and 35 metres across at the corner of Abbott and Pender streets, the exhibit is actually a collection of some 300 photographs that are each two by two metres in size.
Called Jump for Joy, the project completed on August 26 is the result of a partnership between the Atira Women's Resource Society, B.C. Housing, and the City of Vancouver. It was designed and created by local photographer and artist Eyoälha Baker (with the help of a number of volunteers).
“This work is about capturing and sharing the beauty of the human spirit,” Baker told the Straight. “When I photograph people, my intention is to help them connect to themselves and to re-discover their own inherent greatness. When the photos are enlarged and made into this massive mural, that energy is then shared with all who walk by and view the images.”
The mural at 81 West Pender is Baker’s second Jump for Joy installation she’s raised in the Downtown Eastside. The first resided in an alley off Pender Street a few steps from Main. That mural stood 10 metres tall and 35 metres across, making Baker’s latest work a big step up.
The new mural at Abbott and Pender was created through 2015 and finally installed over the course of August. Baker emphasized the photographs include many residents of the area.
“Even with hardships, they were able to contribute great love and joy to the work,” she said.