An Afternoon with Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun is a generous man—generous with his time, his space, and his thoughts. I’ve long admired his paintings, and often wanted to say hello to him when I see him in the street. He was quick to answer our request to interview, and we spent a good four hours on his Main street studio looking at his canvasses and imagining the paintings for the stories which he proceeded to share.

Many of the interviews I’ve read with Yuxweluptun focus on his political opinions. I’d always thought the interviews didn’t focus enough on his art, his technique, his practice. I realised that afternoon that he was adept at veering away from the topic of his art—somehow always able to bring it back to his feelings about our government, our place. Anyone who is generous with their opinion will leave themselves open to critique and disagreement

It’s easy to challenge one man’s opinion—but it’s a little more worthwhile to accept that opinion and see where it can take you. A half-thought leads us to a childhood in the interior, a rehearsed diatribe takes us to a campaign for better railroad signage.

Yuxweluptun’s life is the intersection of many years of history. The history of the world, of British Columbia, produce unique characters. I hope you enjoy this interview, the photos that accompany it, the imperfection of its participants and the world events that have led to our confluence.

-Marion Benkaiouche (co-editor)