The Rope

by Case Maclaim

Churchill, Canada – June 2016


Finding This Mural

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Story Behind This Mural

Artist Statement

“The Rope” - The piece describes the present-day situation of living in an area of the world that is both dependent on nature and suffering from a man-made tragedy. It addresses the melting permafrost which is unsuitable for building infrastructure on, such as railways. In addition to this, massive storms and floodings are washing away the railroads making them unable to use for transportation of goods and people.  In the early spring of this year, Churchill was hit by two historic blizzards, and the resulting meltwater caused the railway to wash away in several areas last month. Now, the government and the American rail corporation are arguing over who will repair the rail, Churchill's lifeline.  For Churchill, this means that their lifeline that supplies the community with food, water, medicine, employment, is out of commission indefinitely. The train line is the most important connection to keep the city of Churchill alive and the community employed. Many people are currently out of work and from what they say, the railroad won't be repaired within the year. My painting touches on the issue of the railway, by showing port workers balancing like tightrope dancers on the washed away railway. It stands as a metaphor for how fragile life can be in subarctic terrain and how essential the railway is for the survival of the people.

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