Giant Mosaic Being Built outside Vancouver

Photo sourced from aajpress.wordpress.com

Photo sourced from aajpress.wordpress.com

In the Academy Award-nominated documentary Waste Land, artist Vik Muniz creates a portrait of a Brazilian woman … that’s roughly the size of a high school gymnasium.

The woman is a scrap collector in a Brazilian junkyard.  And the portrait is composed of tons of trash.  Muniz enlisted the entire community of collectors to harvest the raw material for his masterpiece – everything from bottle tops and bits of metal to old tires and scraps of cloth.  From a catwalk perched high above the floor, he orchestrated the action as pieces were arranged into a vivid mosaic.

Now, Muniz is bringing his epic style of art to the Vancouver region.  As part of the Vancouver Biennale – the every-other-year outdoor sculpture exhibition – Muniz will be creating one of his unique, large-scale mosaics in Squamish, about one hour north of Vancouver.  While plans for the piece haven’t been released, Muniz has stated that he’ll be taking advantage of two raw materials in abundance in Squamish, rocks and wood.

Photo sourced from 40forever.com.br

Photo sourced from 40forever.com.br

In the coming weeks, First Nations groups and members of the local community will collaborate to bring the project to life.  The end result will be so large that it must be viewed from an elevated platform.

Photo credit: anne tuckova | Flickr

Photo credit: anne tuckova | Flickr

After the success of his Waste Land project, Muniz has gone on to do similar large-scale mosaics using found materials around the world.  He recruited 10,000 assistants to bring old bottles and other materials to Rio de Janeiro, where they assembled a huge mosaic of the city’s iconic skyline. In France, he made a similar piece inside a church using local flowers. His new film, This is Not a Ball, chronicles his efforts to turn 20,000 soccer balls into a work of art in the lead up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Anyone interested in volunteering on the new Squamish project can learn more on the Vancouver Biennale website.

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