Even though waiting at the stoplight can take only two minutes, it sometimes feels like a lifetime. Eyes fixated on that blank black circle, like staring into an abyss while urging the flicking green arrow to appear and guide you left. When your eyes begin to wander from the light with impatience, you may have noticed some paintings plastered on traffic boxes. Solidified sceneries captured in time.
Christina Hamlyn is one of the artists behind the traffic box project. If you venture across town, you will notice the extent of her talent. From a Newfoundland version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night to a colourful caribou on traffic boxes – her other pieces can be found in various parts of the city.
Hamlyn has been working in effort with Clean St. John’s in partnership with the City. Put simply, it turns boring traffic boxes into works of art. However, it paints a bigger picture: the project allows local talent to be displayed for every pedestrian and driver who crosses its path.
For Hamlyn, having her art featured in town is more than just decorating traffic stops; it has always been a longtime passion.
“My love for art started very young, I can’t really pinpoint a time. I remember spending a lot of my time drawing when I was in elementary school,” recalled Hamlyn. “Every year I would get more art supplies for Christmas and, unlike other things I would receive, I would use them all year. I loved drawing, doodling and painting and I would spend hours at Chapters looking at art books.”
The Traffic Box Art Program was initiated in 2012 and 17 boxes have been painted so far. The City hopes to cover all traffic boxes in St. John’s with eight completed annually.
Hamlyn will be completing her second year of Visual Arts at Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook this September. She never thought her childhood passion would become a career focus. “It wasn’t until high school that I realized I could actually make a life out of making art- until then it was just a hobby. It was then that I decided I should really focus on what I was good at and get better at my craft. My art teacher in high school, Nicole Russell, really helped me a lot, especially in developing my painting skills. I owe her a lot,” said the artist.
Both of Hamlyn’s contributions were her own creations. Starry Night over St. John’s is obviously influenced by Van Gogh and she also painted the caribou because they are native to the province.
For more information please visit: http://cleanstjohns.ca
For more information on Hamlyn, other pieces she has done and what she is up to, please visit the following sites: