British Columbia Beginning, from 1958; the mural at the former CIBC Building, 586 Granville at Dunsmuir Street, designed by BC Binning and completed with the assistance of Professor Santagostino in Venice, Italy. Post now updated with full text from the brochure:
The Mural and the Artist
The magnificent mural, reproduced in natural colour on the inside pages of this folder, is of historic interest. Not only does it depict the basic resources and industries of British Columbia as the pivotal point in the development of the Province, but it is believed that this is the only true mosaic mural in Canada.
The mural was designed by B.C. Binning, the famous Vancouver artist, and completed with the assistance of Professor Santagostino in Venice, Italy. When Mr. Binning began to plan his work he felt that to depict the resources and industries of British Columbia in descriptive and literal terms seemed crass and inadequate to the spirit he had in mind. What he ultimately decided to attempt was to identify the theme, using some sort of readable iconography, or symbolism, and then enrich this language with all the colour, texture, pattern and general aesthetic excitement at his command.
The problem of attaining maximum richness, in keeping with the overall decor, involved the choice of media. Mr. Binning decided that the choice of mosaic as the medium would solve this problem, thus expressing the future, wealth and interest of the Province by the interpretation of the theme rather than by literal description of it, at the same time maintaining harmony with the architectural surroundings. The wisdom of Mr. Binning’s choice of medium can now be realized and admired as the mural in its finished state is a striking example of the artist’s ability, and a lasting tribute to his skill.
B.C. Binning is Associate Professor of Art, and Curator of the Fine Arts Gallery at the University of British Columbia. He won scholarships in earlier years through his artistic ability, is an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy, and his work has been exhibited in major exhibitions in Canada and other countries. The completion of this mural by Mr. Binning will be one of British Columbia’s memorable artistic events, not only because it is a masterpiece in the art of mural design, but also because it was unveiled during the centennial year of the Province.
From a brochure seen at the VPL, Special Collections, N.W. 971.133 V22i Pam