Angel Of Anarchy

Mixed media/found objects
January 2016

The word ‘angel’ is derived from the Greek word “messenger”.  Angels are thought of as guardian spirits to not only protect us but guide us, and if we let them in; they communicate to us between the worlds of the living and dead, or heaven and earth.

The word Anarchy is usually followed by a definition of a person or persons who seek to overturn by ‘violence’ all constituted forms and institutions of society and government. In our time now; Anarchism is a social movement that seeks liberation from oppressive systems of control including the state, capitalism, racism, sexism, speciesism, and religion. Anarchists advocate a self-managed, classless, stateless society without borders, bosses, or rulers where everyone takes collective responsibility for the health and prosperity of themselves and the environment. (from>Anarchism)

The DTES is Not Ghettoized by the Residents but by the BC Government, Greedy Corporations, and Slum Lords.

The Downtown Eastside’s Social and Racial Cleansing is part of the so-called “DTES Second Generation Strategy” and Gentrification. The Displacement of residents and the uncertainty of where people will go and what will become of people experiencing homelessness of DTES is a grave concern to us all. In March of 2015, approximately 1,746 people were/became homeless in Vancouver.  Approximately 32% are Aboriginal. And that doesn’t count the people with inadequate food, clothing, and living in cramped S.R.O.’ s.  These are the basic needs and rights of all people. We keep asking questions like, why is this happening? Why are so many people being denied their rights to basic needs? Why are there so many people with no food or shelter?  This gentrification of the DTES continues even though they told us, in the beginning, it will be a mix of the old and the new living and working side by side. . .  ** Instead they are kicking the DTES residents out of their homes and on to the streets.

This piece represents those in need and those who fight for the basic human rights of people experiencing homelessness in the DTES of Vancouver.

Client's Quote

d.June Conley’s sculpture is one of my favourite pieces of art because every time I look at it I see something different. One day my gaze will focus on a tiny green jigsaw piece, perched rakishly on the top of her head. The next time I look at Angel my eyes are pulled to the cracks that run across her face and neck, or perhaps to the Medicine Wheel pin with the words “Right to Remain.” This is not a static piece. This is not an entirely safe piece. The Angel of Anarchy speaks of fragmentation, of the way in which society can reduce a human person to a limb or a mind that works differently than what is considered “normal”. She tells me to live with my eyes open for beauty that is not obvious: a shard of glass, a bead, a fragment of bone. Some days, the Angel’s soft eyes bring to mind my Angela, a beloved (and still cherished) childhood doll, who sustained my imagination and was a true friend. Once, my Angela’s rubber doll neck was broken. This was a tragedy. My kind mother, however, knew what was important in the world and took Angela to the local Doll Hospital to be healed – yes, there was such a thing in Victoria in the early 1960s! The Angel of Anarchy was born at Vancouver’s Gallery Gachet, a safe and creative gathering place in the Downtown Eastside for people who do not fit in the box of normal. Gachet was Vincent Van Gogh’s homeopathic doctor and his friend. Artist d.June Conley took time to write me a note of introduction to the Angel when she came to live with me. Her art is political and conceptual and held close to her heart and her soul. That is why the Angel of Anarchy affirms that art should indeed be understood as a means of survival.

Megan J Davies