Monday, March 29, 2010

Pamela Masik

Like Suzanne, I was also going to write about Pamela Masik's work on the missing women of the DTES. There was an interview with her last night on CTV's "First Story" and I was enthralled by the amount of effort she put into painting 8' X 9' portraits of each of the 69 missing women. From what I could perceive, each portrait appeared to bring the women to life; very much in contrast to the mug-shot-like pictures we see on the evening news. In my opinion, Masik didn't take away from their facial appearance, those remained intact; however, she added elements that made the women appear spirited and energetic, for example, by adding writing, blooming flowers, and/or greenery to the portrait.

During the program, many people, like me, were astounded by her work; however, there was an individual who openly admitted that he was disgusted by her work because he thought that Masik was making money off the women's suffering. Masik responded in kind stating that the money was not for herself but for the building of a social rehabilitation centre in the DTES. If this is the case, then all the power to her.

According to "First Story," all of the portraits will be up for display in February 2011 at the UBC Museum of Anthropology. To give everyone an idea of the entire process, I posted the website address to a video link of Masik painting the portraits. The power emanating from the video, I think speaks volumes. Her passion and enthusiasm were obvious especially since she had an emotional and physcial breakdown while completing her work.

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