Surf’s up: Halifax’s newest mural debuts on the waterfront
A work of art painted on the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic shows how women are shaped by the sea
December 13, 2020, 11:53 am ASTLast Updated: December 13, 2020, 11:53 am
From stencil work and spray paint, two women are now surfing on a building on the Halifax waterfront.
The mural is called The Sea in Her Blood and can be found on the side of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The idea sparked when artist Michael Burt went to the museum during a special exhibition last year that featured 17 women who had been shaped by the sea.
“They had an exhibition on women and the sea, and how women are affected by the sea and live by the sea and are connected by the sea and all that. So, I was kind of inspired by that,” Burt said.
Burt said he didn’t intend the project to become a collaboration with the museum, but it “made sense when it came together.”
Kim Reinhardt, the general manager of the museum, said Burt took her comments to heart.
“I said, ‘You know what? It would really be great if whatever you depict helps to draw awareness to the diversity of the maritime heritage and culture,’” she said.
The depiction of women surfing is also “a way of expanding people’s perspectives on ways that women have connections to the sea,” Reinhardt added.
Burt, along with artists Daniel Burt and Justin Fraser-Fong, worked on the mural for three days, not including the preparation process. It was finished on Dec. 2.
The artists received a grant from the Downtown Halifax Business Commission as part of the Gritty to Pretty program, which funds art as a city beautification effort. A jury formed by the commission selects an artist, who then develops their art concept and finds a location for it.
Paul MacKinnon, the commission’s CEO, said they received many applications this year, but Burt’s idea was at a “higher level.”
“The mural itself is much more contemporary. It’s not meant to be historic. It’s meant to celebrate a part of our culture,” MacKinnon said.
These art projects are scattered around Halifax in the downtown area. Many of them are sculptures or light designs like the Pearl sculpture on Barrington Street or the NSCAD Academy Wall on Market Street.
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