While nobody would blame you if you slipped into a funk over the last year and a half, you may have noticed that the city has actually gotten a bit brighter, all things considered. With more murals than ever, and pop-up patios galore, it seems like Vancouver is on the way to being a glass half full again (even if it is with rainwater).
Walk a few square blocks in any direction, and you’ll likely run into a vibrant display of public artistry, and once you’re there, chances are good it was done by the creative duo known as WKNDRS.
Rachel Rivera and Claire Ouchi came up with the WKNDRS name as a means of expressing their work ethic: enjoying every day as if it were the weekend.
Starting their collaboration ten years ago in the fashion industry, they’ve brought the intimacy of designing garment prints and patterns into the large-scale public art spaces that feel just as personal. While you’d think there might be some natural friction while working in a close creative partnership, Rivera explains that it’s all about striking the right balance. “It’s a real yin to yang moment. As individual artists, we both have quite different aesthetics, but what’s great about WKNDRS is that we can develop a fun new world that we both created together.
If their creative connection is the fuel for their projects, then their process must be incredibly fun. Together they’ve given a bright splash to physical distancing barriers on Robson Street, painted playful murals on skateboard ramps for Market Collective, and colourfully levelled up a community patio in Kits. Walk through any of the WKNDRS pieces and you’ll be enveloped in vibrant energy that will certainly brighten your outlook. Nowhere else is this more evident than when they recently completed their largest project ever, a 5500sq. ft ground mural for Uptown Mall in Victoria. As Ouchi puts it, when you step inside, “You’re literally immersed in the WKNDRS world”
We’ll gladly spend more time there if it means we can store up some of that vibrant positive energy to last through winter.