Since the exhibit in May I have been busy working on some illustrations for a book Margi Prideaux is trying hard to find time to write outside her wildlife conservation work ie an intensive week long conference a month ago and consultation/support work for the United Nations. I hope to have more on these events soon but …she’s busy so..
I have set up a new Page called WILD TAPESTRY:Digital Reproductions. There are 5 images so far from works in the exhibit. The details are there but simply they are for sale at $550.00 each plus shipping. These images are printed with Epson archival quality inks on Hahnemühle German Etching acid free paper. With a little searching and test printing I have been very fortunate to find two excellent printers. Their work has given me the confidence to go ahead with this page. You can email me with your choice(s) and mailing address and I will follow up with shipping and an online invoice to you.
Here we are in week four. I just came from the gallery where I saw how beautifully David Kaye has installed the thirteen pieces for WILD TAPESTRY. The show opens tomorrow and many are expected at the Saturday’s reception. I am hoping for good weather so all can visit in comfort. Here is Margi’s final essay about Wild Tapestry: Weaving Wildlife Survival.
It’s not often a writer has the opportunity to collaborate beyond the realm of words. I love words—the thin black scratches on a sea of white paper that communicate so much. They are part of my soul, but I know their effect can be limited by the mood of the reader.
This collaboration between a visual artist and a writer is personally exciting because art and words have merged together to deepen interpretation through a wilderness of colour, texture and narrative.
While sitting at my desk overlooking an Australian landscape of golden fields and grazing kangaroos, accentuated by the warble of magpies calling their young, Susan has been developing her work in the urban landscape of downtown Toronto. Here on the shores of Lake Ontario cardinals, robins and woodpeckers nest in trees and colourful mallards glide on the lake. The species might be different, but we are connected by a shared concern for our planet and our wild kin.
Susan’s artwork has taken the theme of Wild Tapestry and given it beautiful, inspiring, physical form.
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.
Let me introduce Dr. Margi Prideaux who has been working in the field of wildlife conservation and governance law for many years. An independent academic, negotiator and writer, she is a experienced advocate for the protection of wildlife. Margi is my niece with whom I recently reconnected online whereby I began reading about her work. I have been deeply impressed with Margi’s academic depth driven by genuine passion for wildlife survival while understanding the harsh realities of international politics.
“BIRD SONG AFTER THE STORM: Giving Power to Communities to Speak for Wildlife in International Environmental Governance” is but one example of Margi’s writing articulating her vision. Here is her website where you may learn more and see for yourself.
Margi asked me to do a book cover for an upcoming book “Wild Tapestry: Weaving Wildlife Survival” about the same time I was invited to prepare an art exhibit at the David Kaye Gallery for May 2017. It seemed to me that “Wild Tapestry” held lots of potential for me as a visual artist. Margi happily surprised agreed to my suggestion of using her ideas to drive imagery for an art exhibit. It has been an exciting and challenging few months developing this new work.
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