The Journey is a public art series created for installation in Vancouver’s transit ad spaces for Platforms 2015-17: Coastal City. The five works in this series take the form of quasi-inspirational posters created from altered self-help and new-age book covers. Both the myth and experience of Vancouver as a ‘Coastal City’ connect with overarching ideas in Mallett’s practice; this new series of images is akin to her ongoing series Personhood, which pulls its imagery from covers of self-improvement texts popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s exploring the terrain of quasi-mysticism, personal empowerment, and commodity culture. Taking a form reminiscent of outdated posters, these works isolate elliptical statements on self-improvement and the nature of being in self-referential and critical ways.
The Journey references what the artist describes as a ‘West Coast New-Age’ culture, with a specific focus on ideas of travel, movement, and transition. These works play with themes of ‘transit’ and the ‘Coastal City’ in direct response to the situation of the work in the transit shelter ad spaces around Vancouver, through alluding to this regionally specific ‘new-age’ sensibility as well as the commonly used metaphor of ‘the journey’ in self-help literature.
Thanks to Nigel Lew and Emiliano Sepulveda for their assistance in making this work.