“I was doing a Google research for Canadian calls for mural artists, and I found this invitation,” Hamel said. “At first I thought it was Hamilton, Ontario.”
She was interested in the project, so “I asked if my application was eligible even though I was a Canadian.”
It was. In fact, StreetSpark director Jennifer Acus-Smith, a local artist, has said, “We got 117 designs submitted by 63 artists from three different countries. So we were very pleased by this response. We essentially doubled the number of designs that came in last year.”
MORE: Joe Nuxhall would have loved mural of him in Hamilton, family says
With her design, she hoped to evoke “the notions of serenity, fragility and permanent movements by staging the delicate hanging mobiles, games of balance,” she wrote.
She included light bulbs, to reflect the Marshall Electric Company, which used to operate in the immediate area. And the origami birds, perhaps, represent Hamilton’s mighty paper-making past?
“I didn’t even know that,” she said. “Shame on me!”
She added, “In Québec, we also have an important past in the field of pulp and paper.”
Her website, containing very detailed murals she has done, featuring whimsy and realism, can be found at www.anniehamel.com.
Part of her official description of the mural says, “The delicacy of the paper foldings and the beauty of this ancestral manual activity reminds the careful work of the craftsmen who occupy the building today. The heterogeneous elements of this composition — flowers, birds, frames and light bulbs — find their harmony in the sobriety of the colors chosen, in their shapes responding each other, in the materials that oppose each other to better be highlighted.”
The cranes, “a symbol of peace, mingle with the rustic swallows that foreshadow spring,” she added. The windows of the building are integrated into origami frames, “so that the occupants become an integral part of the work.”