Dom Laporte

Artist: Dom Laporte
Photographer: Electrify

Dom Laporte’s First Festival Mural

Not long before he headed home to Ottawa, we chatted with prolific muralist Dom Laporte, who painted his first festival mural in Nelson set against the stunning vista of Kootenay Lake.

Can you introduce yourself for those who don’t know you?

My name is Dom Laporte, I’m a muralist, illustrator, and fine artist based out of Ottawa, Canada. My work is focused on themes of wildlife, nature and recently on different symbiotic relationships found in nature.

How many murals have you painted?

I don’t know the exact number, but probably upwards of 70-80 since 2014. They range in size and are both indoor and outdoor; there’s been a big variety.

And is it true that this is your first festival, and your biggest wall to date?

This is my biggest wall and my first festival. Nelson got me first for the festival and I’m super stoked to be invited here. This wall was a huge challenge but I think it ended up being something special.

What are some of the biggest influences/inspirations for your art practice?

In terms of other artists, there’s a million I could name. Off the top of my head, Joram Roukes and Telmo Miel, two brothers from Europe. They’ve influenced my use of transparency, fragmented shapes and things like that. But overall what influences the content of my murals is my love of nature, animals, and plant life.

Can you tell us a bit about the piece we are standing in front of right now?

This was my ode to BC. There’s no mountains where I come from, or, barely any—we do have hills. So this was my take on a BC landscape and lake, kind of paying respects to the natural wealth of Nelson. It’s a downward view on a few boats in a port, kind of fading into a surreal, sort of colorful landscape—which influenced the title, Soul Terrain. It’s basically my own version of what a landscape would be in my mind.

Did you make any special memories while painting here in Nelson?

The volunteers and staff who were hanging out and the conversations I had with people; that was pretty special. Usually for murals I’m solo at the wall, so I’d say any stand out moment in the day (other than me painting) would be hanging out with the volunteers. Oh, and having a sweet view from my lift was definitely a perk. This was by far the most beautiful place I’ve ever painted.

What advice would you give to emerging muralists?

Work super hard and apply for everything, even if you think it’s out of your grasp. Learn how to write grant proposals and learn how to document your own work. You’ll have to learn how to multitask. Keep your head down and keep moving, even if you aren’t getting any jobs off the cuff.

What do you think the role of public art is?

I think the role of public art is to speak on the community’s behalf in some way. I think everyone who can enjoy public art has a sense of ownership over it. A mural shouldn’t 100% be a representation of the artist painting it, nor should it just be of the community; it should be a collaboration in some way. It should create a dialogue. Public art should beautify the space and make sense in the context of where it exists; which I hope this mural does.

You can find “Soul Terrain” at 625 Front Street, around the back of the building known as “Corner Brick”. If you stand near the railroad tracks, you can’t miss it, it wraps two sides of the building.

Interview by Ingrid Love – 2022


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