‘Feeling of dread’: Artist creates apocalyptic series showcasing a desolate Edmonton

A piece from the Post Apocalyptic Edmonton art series by Mike Roshuk. Courtesy / Mike Roshuk

An Edmonton artist has taken the anxiety he’s been feeling over the COVID-19 pandemic and channeled it into an art series that capture what a post-apocalyptic YEG would be like.

“I think it shows the collective anxiety and dread we’re all going through,” said artist Mike Roshuk.

“Sometimes it almost feels like — when you watch the news or see what’s going on — it feels like we’re living in the first 10 minutes of an apocalyptic movie.”

Courtesy / Mike Roshuk

Roshuk said he began planning the project in the spring, during the first wave and lockdown period of the pandemic. However, it wasn’t until this fall when he started putting the project together.

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“I primarily work in Photoshop,” he said. “So what I do, I start with a base photo. So I went out on a Sunday morning, when there was not much traffic around Rogers Place, downtown Jasper Avenue, and the legislature building.

“I’ll sketch over top of it — digital painting, adding in other elements, textures, combining other photos into it.”

Each image takes him about eight to 10 hours to complete.

Roshuk said the project idea came to him after a viewing of the Netflix series Black Summer, a zombie show which was filmed in Alberta.

“That really resonated with me,” he said. “Because I’m watching a movie, and I’m seeing these familiar areas… it really hits home a lot more.

A piece from the Post Apocalyptic Edmonton art series by Mike Roshuk. Courtesy / Mike Roshuk

He added that while he has shared three completed pieces so far — all of which received extensive local attention after he posted them online — he has several more ideas in the works to complete the project.

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“I did some other shots of West Edmonton Mall,” he said. “The pirate ship… through the glass overlooking the water park… Southgate Mall, the Muttart Conservatory.

Edmonton-based artist Mike Roshuk on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. Julien Fournier / Global News

Roshuk said although he didn’t initially plan to, he’s now posted prints of the pieces online for sale after receiving numerous requests.

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