Anakana Schofield nominated the visual artist Marina Roy:
My conversations over the years with Marina Roy have always been a source of not just inspiration but oxygen to the intellect. She's exceptionally well read in two languages and a cross disciplinary thinker and artist. She has directed me to many writers, texts and artists and her own work ambitiously engages with language, biopolitics, materials, history and more. She's been especially important to me in our exchanges around French literature and philosophy and psychoanalysis. I never visit her studio without leaving fired up with new departures, ideas and reading material to seek out.
Most recently her dramatic public art installation Your Kingdom to Command in Downtown Vancouver impacted and interfaced with the whole city's pedestrian population. Allegorical, the giant plywood mural is made from bitumen, tar and latex paints. It featured to quote Diana Freundl, who articulates it much better than I can, "a painted ensemble of phantom-like flora and fauna, deceased organism from a geological past that break down to form bitumen." In front of it surrounded by water lay two tree stumps salvaged from a 2015 windstorm. One tree basically pisses on the other tree. The mural comprises intricate baroque paintings and the scale of it is a testament to the immense labour it must have taken to create it.
The represented contrast of beauty in the painting and the grotesque nature of the environmental assault taking place in our midst was literally framed or implicated by 20th century capitalist consumer economy. Across the street from the installation is the most ridiculous condo development while kitty corner to it looms Trump tower! Between the two is one of the busiest roads in the city that takes you out into the rest of the province, where our lumber resources have been depleted by various disastrous provincial governments selling them off to American multi nationals and where our First Nations communities battle the constant threat of pipelines and water and fish stock contamination.
Work by Marina Roy:
(L-R: Your Kingdom to Command, temporary outdoor installation & details of mural, 2016. Photo: Trevor Mills; The Fable of the Bees (from the Thumbsketch Collection), pen on paperback, 2002)