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.


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