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Mother Tongue/First Language Learned

Mother Tongue/First Language Learned by Elizabeth Roy

Artist: Elizabeth Roy
Location: Guildford RCMP (10395 148 Street)
Category: Civic collection
Year: 2004

About Mother Tongue/First Language Learned

Mother Tongue/First Language Learned captures the idea that, for each member of the community, there is a need to claim a heritage represented by language. Accompanying this desire is the wish to instill pride and commitment in shared goals and values. In a very real sense, the artwork establishes itself as a beacon for a message that acknowledges the identities and individualities of diversity, linked together and reinforced through the RCMP’s tradition of bridging community strengths.

The physical form of the artwork along the building roofline knits together sculptural versions of actual word forms selected from the RCMP vision statement. They are translated into their mother tongue based on language demographics in the Guildford community. The words are:

  • respect
  • community
  • compassion
  • responsibility
  • integrity
  • empowerment
  • honesty
  • professionalism

Eight languages are represented: English, Chinese, Korean, Punjabi, Tagalog, Hindi, German, and French.

More on Mother Tongue/First Language Learned

About the Artist

Elizabeth Roy has been working in the field of public art and mixed media installation for the past fifteen years. Her work is in the collections of the cities of Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, and North Vancouver. In 2009, she was awarded a Public Art Prize from the city of North Vancouver for the work Launch.

Elizabeth Roy has taught in Ontario and BC, including Emily Carr University, and is the Chair of Foundation at the University of Manitoba School of Art, where she teaches Print Media, Drawing and Visual Language.