A historic downtown Victoria alley has once again been transformed into a place for artistic and creative expression for street artists.
Fern Long, a member of the BOXCARSIX artist collective and a graduate of the Vancouver Island School of Art, had her work chosen from 19 submissions to the City of Victoria recently and became the seventh artist to have their work grace the brick walls of the Commercial Alley Art Gallery.
|Artist Fern Long's concept for four art panels was chosen for the installation in Commercial Alley. Photo by Rosie Long
Following a theme of “Home” for this installation, Long included elements of collage, text, domestic objects, floor plans and dense surfaces to reference the complicated and multifaceted relationships associated with the theme. Layers of paint and imagery become like the residue of lives lived inside these architectural spaces. Each panel is unique in design, but shares a similar colour palette and form to lend a sense of connection, creating a neighbourhood in the alley.
The works are an expansion of Long’s ongoing series called “Return Address,” with each panel cut in the shape of a house to explore the idea of ‘home,’ and cut slightly differently to evoke a sense of imperfection and individuality.
In describing the works, she asks, “What does it mean to have a home? It can be a prison or a refuge, a place of belonging and love or no more than a suitcase. It can exist only in our minds or be shared with many. It is simultaneously a physical space as well as an emotional landscape inextricably bound with memory. It means something different to each of us.”
Long’s art will be on display until August 2020. You can find the gallery on the west wall of the Youth Empowerment Society building in the 500-block of Yates Street.
The Commercial Alley gallery was launched in 2014 to showcase temporary installations by local artists and add colour and vitality to the area. For more information, visit victoria.ca/publicart.