Sylvia Nickerson is a comics artist, writer, and illustrator who lives in Hamilton, Canada. Her focus is storytelling in community arts and writing comics examining parenthood, gender identity, social class and religion. Her illustrations have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post and her comics have been nominated for a Doug Wright Award.
A new mother takes us on a tour of Hamilton, a Rust Belt city born of the Industrial Revolution and dying a slow death due to globalization. This mother represents the city’s next wave of inhabitants—the artists and young parents who swarm a run-down area for its affordability, inevitably reshaping the neighborhoods they take over. Creation looks at gentrification from the inside out—an artist mother making a home and neighborhood for her family, struggling to find her place amid the existing and emerging communities.
While pushing her child’s stroller around Hamilton, Nickerson shows us the warehouse filled with open barrels of toxic sludge, the parking lot where the city’s homeless population sleeps, and the refurbished Victorian house (complete with elegant chandeliers) that is now a state-of-the-art yoga studio. Creation presents the city as a living thing—a place where many small lives intersect and where death, motherhood, pollution, poverty, and violence are all interconnected.
Drawn in evocative watercolor, Creation is unafraid to leave questions open-ended as Nickerson wanders the city and ponders just where the personal and political intersect, and where they ought to intersect.