2015 Downtown Exhibitions

Silva Part II: Booming Grounds


Silva Part II: Booming Grounds 

Marian Penner Bancroft, Al Bersch and Leslie Grant, Jason de Haan and Miruna Dragan, Wilmer Gold, Robert Guest, Liz Magor, George Sawchuk, Carol Sawyer, Kathy Slade, Kate Stefiuk, and Elias Wakan
November 21, 2015 to February 20, 2016
Artist Talk: Friday, November 20 at 6:15
Opening: Friday, November 20 at 7pm
Booming Grounds is an exhibition informed by the shifts that occur when trees become commodities. In South Nanaimo great log rafts float in limbo before moving further down the commodity chain as raw logs, lumber, wood chips, and pulp, to be distributed both locally and globally. This process begins before the trees have been cut, and sometimes even before they have been planted. Forestry has always been a mobile industry: logging camps move with the trees, prices rise and fall, mills open and close, and communities boom and bust. The exhibition Booming Grounds offers visitors a place to pause and consider this cycle through a wide range of artworks that respond to contemporary and historical forestry practices. 
In addition to the works of photography, painting, film, video, and sculpture featured in the gallery, there will be a number of public artworks and other presentations as part of the exhibition: 
  • Carol Sawyer's video Wood Work (2011) will play throughout the exhibition on large monitors in the lobby and on the second floor of the Harbourfront Branch of Vancouver Island Regional Library.
  • We will initiate Notes From The Collection: a showcase of selected work from the Nanaimo Art Gallery Permanent Collection that will change with each gallery exhibition. In dialogue with Booming Grounds we will present the painting Night Hills, Vancouver Island (1975) by Max Maynard, which was collected by Nanaimo Art Gallery in 1985.
  • Artists Al Bersch and Leslie Grant will give a talk about their art practice and collaborations with those working in resource based industries. The artists will speak before the opening on November 20, at 6:15pm in Art Lab
  • A tour of George Sawchuk’s forest gallery in Fanny Bay, led by writer Grant Shilling, who is developing a major publication about Sawchuk’s life and work. November 28, 2015, 2pm. 
  • Painter Robert Guest will tell stories from the 23 summers he spent working on forest fire lookout towers, observing and painting the landscape. February 2016
  • Local actor and director Jessica Lowry will present a new performance about her family’s connections to forestry. “My father grew up on logging camps all over the island and gulf islands and my grandfather and great-grandfather all made their living from cutting down trees." Lowry examines family photographs and explores that history through her performance. February 2016
Silva is a contemporary art project that follows a thematic path from the microcosms of the forest floor, to the quantifying and processing of lumber, to the global distribution of forestry products. The Silva project consists of two exhibitions (O Horizon and Booming Grounds), and a forthcoming publication (The Mill).
Image:Kathy Slade, Tugboat, 2007, Production still from 16mm colour film.
We are grateful for the contributions of Lawyer and Mediator Marlene Russo, Nanaimo Daily News, the City of Nanaimo’s Culture and Heritage Department, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ecoforestry Institute, Arbutus Distillery, Kaatza Station Museum, Forest History Association of Alberta, Nanaimo Archives, Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association and Coast Bastion. 
Silva is supported by the BC Arts Council's Special Project Assistance – Innovations program.

A Terrible Beauty

Edward Burtynsky, Mount Edziza Provincial Park #4,Northern British Columbia, Canada, 2012, chromogenic print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of the Artist,© Edward Burtynsky, Courtesy Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto / Paul Kuhn Gallery, CalgaryEmily Carr, Loggers' Culls, 1935, oil on canvas, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of Miss I. Parkyn

A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky in Dialogue with Emily Carr

September 4 to November 21, 2015 at the Nanaimo Museum

Join us at the Nanaimo Museum for the opening reception on Thursday, September 3, 5 to 7 pm

Nanaimo Art Gallery has partnered with Nanaimo Museum to present A Terrible Beauty: Edward Burtynsky in Dialogue with Emily Carr. The exhibition is organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery with the generous support of the Killy Foundation.

Toronto-based photographer Edward Burtynsky is internationally renowned for his captivating images of natural and man-made landscapes that reflect both the impressive reach of human enterprise and the extraordinary impact of our hubris. This exhibition presents a selection of photographs Burtynsky produced between 1983 and 2013 that together represent all his major bodies of work, from his early series of homestead photographs shot in British Columbia in the early 1980s, to his new, groundbreaking project that explores water's fundamental place in the world ecology.

Burtynsky's work is presented in dialogue with a selection of paintings and drawings by Emily Carr, one of Canada's best known artists. Carr was painting in British Columbia in the early twentieth century, a time when industrialized agriculture, resource extraction and practices such as large-scale logging were on the rise. Though working in different media and over fifty years apart, both artists sought to record the changing landscape and our place in it.

"A Terrible Beauty will resonate with audiences on Vancouver Island, because of the international profile of the artists involved, and also because of the theme's relevance to our context," says Julie Bevan, Executive Director at Nanaimo Art Gallery. "It's our hope that the presentation of this important exhibition in Nanaimo, paired with Gallery's fall project Silva, which explores our connection to the forest, will contribute in a meaningful way to conversations around our complex relationship with the land."

"We believe this is the first time Emily Carr paintings will be on public exhibit in Nanaimo," says Debbie Trueman, General Manager at the Nanaimo Museum. "These amazing Burtynsky and Carr works are being displayed in our community because of a strong partnership between the Nanaimo Museum and Nanaimo Art Gallery."

The Nanaimo Museum is located in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and is open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Contact the museum at 250 753-1821 or visit www.nanaimomuseum.ca

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