Letter writers weigh in on a mural on Cavan Street that was part of the inaugural Hub City Walls mural festival.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Mural evokes thought and discussion

Letter writers have differing perspectives on Cavan Street mural

To the editor,

Re: Artists adding finishing touches to new downtown Nanaimo murals, Aug. 14.

This mural reminds me a lot of a principle that I was taught in care aide school: You can’t judge your abilities based on your easiest client, but only on your hardest: the ones who challenge your kindness and professionalism.

I look at this mural in that same vein. Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the messages that I see in the mural, it’s not a piece of art that I would personally choose to be part of a city-funded mural program.

As an advocate for free speech, it definitely challenges my perspectives. And anything that challenges my perspectives immediately interests me. I must know why it challenges me, and it’s because some of the concepts that some people might see in the piece are considered immoral. Western society’s moral compass, and thus many of its laws and rulings, have a long, and firmly, rooted history of being based off of Judeo-Christian teachings. But, in reality, the Bible’s teachings are, ethically, not only quite a mixed bag, and thus not ideal to base a society’s morals and laws upon, but, in 2020, they are simply not an accurate representation of the morals of large sections of society, whether they identify as Jewish or Christian or not. And the issue with building a society up from any specific set of morals at all is that though they feel like it, morals are not actually absolute, but, in fact, value-based judgments. And who’s to say that my morals, whether they align with this mural or not, are always correct, or should be the only guide for society, or represented above others as morally neutral/inclusive and thus deemed an ideal candidate for publicly funded art?

I hope the mural stays. Because if one thing is clear, the artist’s intent for the mural is to invoke thought and discussion. Something that is never immoral in any free society.

Christina Findlay, Nanaimo

letters continue below

To the editor,

Re: Artists adding finishing touches to new downtown Nanaimo murals, Aug. 14.

I haven’t yet had the opportunity to see the other murals commissioned by the city but if they bear any similarities to the one shown in the Bulletin I have no wish to do so.

That it is colourful I will grant but other adjectives that come to mind are all somewhat less complimentary. I have to admit to an ongoing disagreement with what so called experts regard as art these days and this colourful but meaningless piece confirms that opinion. Claims that it is thought-provoking are quite correct – the main thoughts arising would naturally be ‘what?’ and ‘why?’

Many years ago Chemainus took the mural route, but unlike Nanaimo, they did it right. With so many subjects available from our city’s rich history surely a meaningful theme could be found to illustrate some of them.

Garry Bradford, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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