The marsh landscape mural was defaced in early February by a graffiti tag. Photo: Aaron Hemens

The marsh landscape mural was defaced in early February by a graffiti tag. Photo: Aaron Hemens

Kootenay artists hoping to repair ‘bunker’ mural

The marsh landscape mural was defaced in early February by a graffiti tag

A handful of Creston artists are hoping to come together in the summertime to repair the “bunker” mural that was defaced by a graffiti tag earlier this year.

Marnie Temple, the local artist who spent much of the summer of 2020 pushing to have the mural painted on the structure, said that four artists approached her after noticing the tag and offered to help restore the mural to its initial state.

“We have all the original colours still in cans,” said Temple. “We just have to follow the lines. It’s actually simple, it’s just tedious.”

The mural that spans the structure’s wall was designed and brought to life by Calgary’s Daniel J. Kirk and Lane Shordee in August 2020, who sought to honour the Creston Valley’s original terrain with colourful lines that represent the traditional marsh landscape.

A giant, green curve that swoops in from one end of the wall and travels through the middle of the dense grass symbolizes the movement of a sturgeon-nosed canoe — also known as a Kootenay Canoe.

“The marshland, the Indigenous People in the area before colonization, would have used those canoes to travel through this area,” said Kirk.

READ MORE: Creston ‘bunker’ receives a mural facelift thanks to local artist, Calgary painters

It was in early February while Temple was driving into town when she noticed that the mural had been defaced.

“I had a visceral reaction. I felt flushed and irritated instantly,” she said. “I was in disbelief and disappointed, but not surprised. I went through a whole bunch of different feelings.”

She said that she believes that the tagger is someone from out of town.

“I would say that the tag has been created by someone who knows how to create large tags,” she said. “They’re an experienced tagger, and it has been seen in Moyie. This person is travelling around.”

She described the obscure tag as mischievous and juvenile.

“It’s disrespectful and it serves no purpose, except for it to be rude,” she said. “That’s the thing. If you’re a respectable tagger, in my opinion, you don’t go on top of other people’s work.”

Nonetheless, she said that’s glad to see the support from community members who are willing to help restore the mural.

“I’m really happy and surprised at how many people offered to help,” she said.

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