This Beautiful Day
Kristin McIver, Australia
Title: This Beautiful Day (Halth Skwile Te-staas)
Artist: Kristin McIver (b. 1974, Australia)
Medium: Neon, aluminium, solar panels, batteries, a beautiful day
Dimensions (H x W x D): 2.4 × 7.9 × 2.4 metres (8 × 26 × 8 feet)
Location: 38011 Laurelwood Road in Squamish, British Columbia
This Beautiful Day (Halth Skwile Te-staas) has returned to Squamish! The neon artwork is now a permanent part of the community after it was acquired by BlueSky Properties (Bosa Properties). This Beautiful Day is currently located at 38011 Laurelwood Road with the future permanent location being the upcoming master-planned SEAandSKY development.
Halth skwile te-staas is an important acknowledgement expressed at the beginning of Squamish First Nations public gatherings. The theme of the 2014 – 2016 Vancouver Biennale Residency Program, Open Borders / Crossroads Squamish, encouraged McIver to explore the multiculturalism and history of the region. Inspired by the Squamish First Nations oral traditions and nature’s bountifulness, she created an artwork that bridges divides amongst languages, cultures, and physical landscapes. The solar-powered installation was originally located in Xwu’nekw Park on the Mamquam Blind Channel before the towering Stawamus Chief in Squamish.
The research for the project involved much time spent with members of the Squamish Nation, including taking part in traditional canoe pulls, barbecues, and other cultural events. During this time, McIver was warmly welcomed by the community and was touched by the First Nations’ acknowledgement of, and respect for, the natural landscape and one other. Having been invited on a traditional canoe pull to celebrate the opening of the Sea to Sky Marine Trail in Squamish, she was particularly inspired by Squamish Nation artist and drum maker Tsawaysia Spukwus’ words.
Throughout the artist’s six-week residency at Quest University in Squamish in 2015, the phrase Halth skwile te-staas (“Thank you for this beautiful day”) was spoken many times, and this simple respect for the environment is something that McIver wishes to highlight through her work, as a reminder for people living in urban environments.
This project was supported by:
Australia Council for the Arts
Ian Potter Cultural Trust
Special thanks to:
The District of Squamish, Quest University, Tsawaysia Spukwus, Squamish Nation Community, Cheakamus Center, Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Center, K’omoks First Nation, Klahoose First Nation