As canvasses go, a ship’s accommodation block is bigger than most. Yesterday, Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) marked the official opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season at Lock 3 of the Welland Canal, by unveiling The Runners, a work of art painted on the CSL Welland, a 36,364 dwt bulk carrier.
Created by four Canadian artists, and inspired by Greek artistic traditions depicting sport, the colossal 16-by-14 m mural depicts four runners in motion, created in the run up to the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, for which the shipping line is sponsoring the torch relay.
CSL commissioned the mural, created by renowned Canadian artists Bryan Beyung, Emmanuel Jarus, Andrea Wan and K.C. Hall. Each artist painted a runner according to their distinct style, vision and tradition. The four artists – each located in a different part of Canada – worked from sketches they developed and shared over Zoom meetings to create the four characters of The Runners, based on their own styles and traditions.
To make it possible for the artists to reach the entire surface of the accommodation block and ensure a warm working environment, CSL’s technical team worked with Papineau Sandblast to install scaffolding, a massive tarp and strategically placed heaters.
Over the course of one week, piece by piece and after emptying hundreds of cannisters of spray paint, the work was completed. A more robust tarp was installed to cover the mural for CSL Welland’s journey to the Welland Canal, where the mural was finally unveiled yesterday.
This is not the first time CSL has worked on a shipping masterpiece. Between mid-February and early March of 2017, four urban Montreal artists worked together to create a mural on the bulk carrier CSL St-Laurent that depicts a Canada goose (pictured below).
CSL’s beginnings can be traced back to 1845 and a paddle steamer on the Richelieu River.