Dave Stevens


(posted on 14 Jul 2023)

Rats are often seen as carriers of disease, or we associate them with areas such as the
inner city. I saw a number of rats when I worked on art with the homeless in Surrey and I
found myself worrying about rats who climb into engine area of cars and chew on the
hoses. Our reactions are often based on perceptions of dirtiness but the ratfish received its name for its looks as it reminded people of the rodent’s appearance with its tail formation and front teeth. They are, in fact, deep sea creatures who can grow to four and one-half feet long and are most often seen in our shallower waters at night. Ratfish are a slow swimming fish who feed on clams, crabs and sea worms. They rely upon a poisonous spine located at the dorsal fin on its back, a non-aggressive form of self-defense.

Harkeerat Mangat was a student who came along near the end of my teaching career, and he was in a group that excited and challenged me. As a grade 10 student he was invited to join in a show at Melissa Lane’s store/gallery in New Westminster and he graduated from North Delta Secondary. Harkeerat also displayed work at the prestigious Buschlen-Mowatt Gallery in Vancouver along with Tristan Unrau, following which he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Emily Carr College of Art + Design and a Master of Fine Arts in Dusseldorf, Germany. He has since gone on to establish himself as a multidisciplinary artist in Germany and Vancouver. He combines faith with artistic vision so that there is no separation between the two. What he believes dictates what he creates.
Harkeerat Mangat