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Paintings depicting Vancouver’s missing women

June 25th, 2009     by Teresa Chun-Wen Cheng     Comments

Pamela Masik working on The Forgotten, a portrait series of Vancouver’s missing women.

Vancouver-based artist, Pamela Masik, has unveiled the first painting in a series of portraits depicting the missing women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The series, entitled The Forgotten, includes a total of 69 paintings, each standing at 8 by 10 feet or 8 by 12 feet. Many of the “missing women” of the downtown eastside were indigenous, poor and working the streets. As well, many of these cases not only remain unresolved but were never taken seriously by officials.

The style in which Masik paints is violent and aggressive. She uses fast brush strokes and giant sweeps across the canvas, which fits and reflects both the pain that exists in indigenous communities as well as the pain she herself feels.

Masik has completed nearly 60 of the paintings and hopes to exhibit the entire series by 2011.

I actually found out about Masik’s work through The Globe and Mail. The title of video clip was “Vancouver artist paints missing women.” I clicked on the link and was annoyed to find that The Globe and Mail never actually named the artist, only refering to Masik as “a Vancouver artist” (while the video clip did). Readers should be able to have easy access to information like the artist’s name, which could empower them to do further research and education. Without having watched the video, I would have just had to google something like “vancouver artists painting missing women.”

Tags: arts, race and racism

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