Raise Your Words, Not Your Voice encourages women to use their individual and collective voice to speak out and express themselves, but remain impeccable with their word when doing so. While painting, I realized this mural was also about supporting women in being unafraid to take up physical space, and what better way to portray this than by having a gigantic woman on a public wall literally talking up space?
Girls Are Fierce Like Tigers was inspired by a drawing I created during a residency at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster. The lady on the tiger is a representation of Durga, the warrior goddess. It’s also a nod to the graphic novel, Priya’s Shakti, which was a response to the heart-breaking gang-rape and subsequent death of Jyoti Singh in 2012. In the novel, Priya is also gang-raped and then banished from her village to which she later returns as an unlikely superhero. Like Priya, much of the work I’m doing now revolves around empowering women and championing women’s rights so I wanted to bring a bit of that into the mural. The mural is also located at a high traffic pedestrian and transit hub, which I often use, and hopefully the bright colour palette and bold shapes will provide a bit of a respite from our cold, wet Vancouver winters.