John Wood and Paul Harrison, installation view from ‘I DIDN’T KNOW I DIDN’T KNOW IT’, Contemporary Art Gallery, February 12 – April 24, 2016. Photography by SITE Photography

CAG in the Classroom | How far do you travel?

Inspired by the public art initiative How far do you travel?, CAG commuted across the city to spend two afternoons with grade 4/5 students at Graham Bruce Elementary. Exploring how visual imagery transports meaning across time and space, they discussed the work of Diyan Achjadi, Patrick Cruz, Rolande Souliere, Erdem Taşdelen and Anna Torma, the artists involved in the city wide public art project which has wrapped 30 TransLink buses in artwork.

These afternoons encouraged the students to connect meaning between the work and their own lives. As many of the students have traveled great distances themselves, some having immigrated with their families from around the world, Cruz’s personal history of migration and language resonated with their experiences. Torma’s imagery drawn from family history, Hungarian folklore and personal memory inspired metaphorical creations and colourful art making, while Souliere’s ultra-high visibility installations connected their classroom learnings about Canada’s colonial history and movement across land to contemporary art.

Connected to curriculum exploring their personal identity, the students were asked to consider their past, present or future and to represent their experiences by creating their own miniature TransLink bus. Where have we been? What do we remember?  What do we take with us? What do we imagine for our futures and what do we want to take forward?

Take a look at some of the students’ creations below!


“[My past] reminds me of my red shoes, and traveling to different places. [My future], to carve a circle and go ice-fishing.” – Abigail


“It mostly represents my past – for [my] love of animals and music with bright colours and the funky toddler I was and deep down everything that is on my bus is in my heart.” – Samara


“The reason I made 4 hockey sticks is because that is the age when I started hockey. The blue, red and white strips represents where my family is from. Those are the colours of the Korean flag.” – Talia


“The crown is for my last name, King.” – Ava


“The pink hearts represent love from my big family back in the Philippines” – Lily


“The brown represents my grandpa’s shoes… the glasses shape represents my old broken glasses” Nikki


“My bus represents my future of being a scientist, and study the truths of our solar system and our home galaxy: the Milky Way Galaxy” – Philip


“It represents my past but also my future, for when I go [back] to Brazil again. The green represents the grass I used to play ball, the yellow represents the hot sun…” – Wesley

Thank you to teachers Caylan Piper and Kirsty Girard.