There Is Hope, If We Rise

About this object

History of use

There Is Hope, If We Rise is a set of 12 posters, each with the same abstract design in blue, red and beige in the upper 3/4 of the image. The lower section on each one has a different message (in order, 3451/1-12): "Rise", "Round Dance", "Never Idle", "Idle No More", "Idle Know More", "Learn", "Teach", "Challenge Stereotypes", "Lead", "Confront", "Resist", and "Decolonize". The work was commissioned by the Burnaby Art Gallery for its 2013 group exhibition The Artist Poster Show, that explored the didactic evolution of artist exhibition posters. The commission was funded by the City of Burnaby and the British Columbia Arts Council. The gallery produced this poster set, as well as 10 limited edition sets of the same 12 images. The posters were distributed at the Burnaby Art Gallery, for free to the public. They were "to be used at Idle No More rallies, demonstrations, round dances and teach-ins." The work was inspired by Shepard Fairey's iconic 2008 poster, Hope, that used the discourse and aesthetics of propaganda imagery to convey a sense of hope to the American people during Barack Obama's first presidential campaign.


Artist statement: "Stemming from The Happiest Future series, There Is Hope, If We Rise situates itself in the discourse of the Idle No More movement to counter the bigotry, ignorance, and hate that the First People continue to encounter in Canada today. The Idle No More movement is a powerful movement that picks up where Occupy left off and supersedes the Quebec student movement by tackling a clear number of issues that have social, political, and environmental ramifications for all Canadians. There Is Hope, If We Rise challenges all Canadians to take a stand to preserve the fabric of this country, while forging a new relationship with the Indigenous First Nations to balance out the inequality and abject poverty that some First People are subject to. This movement, and these images, will challenge Canadians to rethink the self image of the utopian, just, and tolerant person. We pride ourselves on helping others around the world, but our blinders remain engaged while looking towards our own country."

Physical description

Poster from a set of 12; caption says “Never Idle”. Front of poster is beige with an abstract design, consisting of formline elements, overtop. Border and negative space, between designs, is beige. Motifs are in the upper three quarters of the image, and are done in blue, blue-grey, dark blue and red. Bottom section is a dark blue band, with the “Never Idle” caption along the top edge and a row of ovoids below. Designs and text are done in blue-grey. Back of poster is white, with the artist statement and series information typed in black ink.