“Everybody Knows Your Name” and "We have Gardens so Fragrant" Mixed media, wood, oil, encaustic elements, 16" x 37" each
“Everybody Knows Your Name”Luchia Feman 2010
I was first introduced to the concept of ‘open air prison’ in a random encounter with a BC Housing employee working in the downtown east side. We had picked up our library books at the Carnegie Center at Main and Hastings and were threading our way through the mayhem that is a constant in that area. The comment was referenced to the way he’d just been treated by the library employee. A month later I heard something similar from a street vendor who complained of literally being forced to live in the area, and of having to line up for food as though a ‘prisoner’.
Most recently I came across a ten-minute video clip promoting a book called, ‘Marching Powder’ , on Bolivia’s San Pedro prison, and was struck by the similarities to my neighborhood. Termed the craziest penal system in the world, San Pedro’s prisoners and their families are free to come and go within the prison limits. They support themselves interacting and conducting business with locals and tourists, producing and selling drugs and other commodities. Halfway through the viewing I realized this is an exact description of the infamous alleyway directly below my apartment, behind the intersection of Carrall and Cordova Streets.
This is my love story with Gastown, - Everybody does know your name - Everybody is here - All of us out here in the Open Air……...
 © Copyright Rusty Young