Spring through the looking glass

This fish eye mirror at Ocean Concrete on Granville Island enables drivers of the company’s cement mixers to see what’s behind them as they enter the premises. But it also transforms reality. Regard the distorted shapes of the Granville Bridge, cement truck and even the photographer. What intrigues me, though, are the colourful leaves both inside and outside of the mirror.

These leaves represent a transformation in themselves. We see the dying old leaves, some still in their fall colours aside the green leaves which are always a harbinger of spring. As the green leaves gradually replace the old leaves they bring all that spring promises: renewal and growth in nature and ourselves, hope for stability in a rapidly changing world, seeing all the negativity currently abounding as something distorted behind us, and looking forward toward a future, clear and bright. It sometimes seems spring is a long time coming and there is always a struggle before the shoots push through or the new leaves unfold, but spring will come and with it the hope to believe and the energy to act on the belief that we can positively change the world.

Ocean Concrete, in its own way, has tried to brighten the world with its support of the arts. This can be witnessed by the colourful transformation of its cement mixers, which have been painted at times with giant asparagus and colourful suns. Ocean Concrete often has art installations in front of its premises and holds annual open houses. Their six 23-metre silos were painted by Brazilian brothers, Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo. You can see one in the left background. They are part of a series called Giants. The Pandolfo brothers feel their work to be deeply spiritual and their mission is to transform public spaces with positive uplifting images.

For more information on the Giants, see Transformational encounter in the September 9–23, 2014 edition of The Source in Street Photography.