Here is Margi’s third essay concerning the future Wild Tapestry:Weaving Wildlife Survival.
As I got rather wordy last week I will not comment and let you read Margi and add more work for the show. Week three is almost over but I have been busy finishing … apologies for lateness !!
There are few relationships so closely bonded as that of human and Rangifer tarandus—caribou or reindeer. These magnificent species are native to arctic, subarctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North America.
As summer approaches, many caribou herds of North America head north in one of the world’s great large-animal migrations. They may travel six hundred miles, or more, along ancient annual routes to a journeys end of summer feeding on the abundant tundra. When the first snow falls each year, they turn south again and complete their migration to spend the winter in more sheltered climes.
Cloistered in our cities and towns we are disconnected from the venerable bond that remains tangible and real for communities across the northern reaches of the world. Massive herds of these gentle animals have provided food, shelter, transport and a harbinger of seasonal change for generations of Saami, Nenets, Khants, Evenks, Yukaghirs, Chukchi, and Koryaks in Eurasia, First Nations of Canada, and Kalaallit of Greenland.
These peoples have followed, observed and hunted the caribou and reindeer for millennia. Caribou and reindeer are the source of inspiration, hope and belief for many still. And, in the past two or three generations they have witnessed massive changes as caribou and reindeer territories fragment and shrink in the face of industrial human growth.
The modern world has ignored the wealth of knowledge that local peoples hold about caribou, reindeer and thousands of other species across the world. It is time for their ancient, wise stories to be core to the wild tapestry of future decisions.
Here is Margi Prideaux’s second essay about her upcoming book Wild Tapestry:Weaving Wildlife Survival. I have a couple of thoughts to share before you read it.
In reading the original synopsis for Margi’s book I had no trouble supporting her point of view. The challenge has been developing visual imagery out of her ideas. My initial approach was to read her writing repeatedly and draw animals on the endangered list. This was engaging; I looked in more detail than I ever had about elephants, snow leopards, kakapo, gorillas, caribou and more. As the drawings proceeded I pondered her living tapestry vision, the weft and warp of such against the over arching realities of climate change and the problems of the existing political approach to conservation (as outlined below and further in the book). Visual ideas that I might compose about these concepts came slowly; Margi’s academic analysis is engaging but here in these two posts you see her ability to write in visual imagery. She has done both for some time but I took awhile to absorb and distinguish each. I have been sketching or doodling almost daily to see what I could do. For me the solutions are in the process. I begin with just a few lines and textures and trust the rest to come. Margi’s word phrases which I use directly in the work are my inspiration. They have assumed their own place there. I could say more here but I want you to read Margi’s next post. Also I know from listening to people respond to my work I really don’t need to talk too much – they get it.
Here is Margi followed by two artworks for the exhibit:
The fabric we are weaving now is dystopic.
From the influence and power of wealthy countries, we rake against the natural fibres of local conservation, destroying their form and texture, until they are smooth and uniform. In our determination to find solutions for diverse and complex local problems, we have been seduced into weaving with neutrality—with sameness.
This seduction has already damaged many weft strands, leaving communities and their cultural knowledge displaced.
Whole villages have been forced from their ancestral forest homes—wilderness they have harmoniously inhabited for generations. In their place armed border guards stride, paved roads snake and exclusive hotels stand. Where children once learned from their elders of the leaves and fruits and animals around them, tourists now stare from open top cars at the last surviving tiger.
Hunters once stood on the ice edge at sunrise, offering thanks to the spirit world before hunting meat for their community. Now they meet wealthy sport shooters from half a world way, who lust for blood and a polar bear trophy.
The seducer has manipulated our attention away from the real cause of the wrong. Campaigns are launched to save the last surviving golden lion tamarin funded by corporate profit procured by flooding valleys and mining sacred mountains.
We have been manipulated into muting a myriad of beautiful and diverse local solutions—forcing the colour from the threads of community relationships with caribou or kakapo; with elephants or emus; with polar bears or pythons, until all that is left is ostentatious words on a page.
Hope without substance.
Robert and I had arrived the day before with the paintings. We unpacked them to help Joan start arranging them in the gallery. Having had a good visit it was soon time to leave and let Joan finish installing which she does so well. Saturday we arrived to see how great everything looked and hopful that visitors would not be deterred by the minus 24 degree weather. They were not. I took photos in between conversations with new and old acquaintances and friends. Here are a few more pictures from the exhibit. The cold has lifted so drop by if you are in the area. Ferneyhough Contemporary is usually open Tuesdays to Saturdays 11am to 5pm or by appointment.
157 First Ave. E., North Bay, ON P1B 1J7 705-476-1534
Since 2007 Robert Game has been developing series paintings that reflect his concern for and draw our attention to the intersection of our natural and constructed worlds. Drawing on experiences from his travels throughout rural and urban Ontario, Game uses a range of symbols to convey the precarious balance between ecology and culture. In the paintings “forests,” “rock walls” and “land” serve as counterpoints to “architectural elements” and “planning devices.”
Most recently, two new series of paintings have emerged: eco platform, a raised level surface to view the base and structure and eco analytic, the branch of logic dealing with analysis. Selected works from the new series make up eco balance. The exhibition runs from March 4 – 29.
Robert Game holds a BFA from the University of Alberta. He has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1975. Robert’s work can be found in many public and corporate collections.
RECEPTION: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 2 – 4 pm. The artist will be present. We hope you’ll join us.
157 First Ave.E, North Bay, ON P1B 1J7 T 705 476 1534