The Greek myth of Orpheus hints at the paradoxical relationship between creativity and anguish. Orpheus was the one mortal whose musical ability was as great as that of the gods. The renowned lyre player fell in love with the maiden Eurydice and the two were married. Shortly after the wedding, Eurydice was stung by a serpent and died; Orpheus, unwilling to accept her death, decided to descend into the underworld to rescue her. The gods were touched by the musician's plea and released her from Hades on the condition that he did not look at her face until the two had returned to the world of the living.
It wasn't until photographer Surendra Lawoti moved to Canada from the U.S. that he realized he was a transnational -- someone whose sense of identity is tied to more than one country.
"I love Canada, but Nepal is also a strong part of who I am," asserts Lawoti.
Born in Nepal, Lawoti has spent almost half his life in North America, arriving in the U.S. in 1994 at age 21 to pursue a degree in photography at Columbia College in Chicago and then an MFA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. The artist moved to Canada in 2008 and is now a permanent resident.
"In the U.S. I wasn't allowed to fly back and forth to Nepal because of visa restrictions," explains the Toronto-based artist. "When I moved here, I had the freedom to come and go."
Monday 30 September 2013, in an unveiling ceremony at the North Shore Lookout Shelter, North Vancouver’s latest public art piece, a 100 ft wide mural titled Word to Your Motherland was revealed.
Local and California based street artists Nisha K. Sembi, Miguel "Bounce" Perez, Take5 and Corey Bulpitt who led its creation, shelter residents and local youth who participated in its design and painting were brought together in celebration.
On the advice of admirable TV journalists, I recently watched the first two episodes of Broadchurch. They said it could be the next Downton Abbey, which didn't really move me. Also that it was "tweeted about more than any drama in U.K. history," which sounds like an orphan stat created by PR. But it's a cops 'n crime show and I'm hooked on those. (Don't know why. I'll get to that.)