Art Exhibit reminds us the importance of Canadian landscape


Artist Gwen MacGregor depicted the contradiction between power plants stationed next to forestry in her video installation at the Deep Woods Visual Arts Exhibit.

“It’s probably not a surprise that I’m not a supporter of nuclear power. The legacy of the toxic waste and the danger are costs we can’t afford. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s clean power,” said the Toronto-based photographer, video and installation artist.

“In Canada we never get that close to the plants. They are hidden behind hills. I guess that’s supposed to make us feel better.”

Last Friday over 30 Canadian artists showed their work to a crowd of about 200 people in downtown Toronto at the Harbourfront Centre. The free event featured an assortment of different art forms including ceramics, painting, crafts, sculptures and film installations.

The artists’ pieces ranged from illustrating the beautiful colours and scenery of Canada to more serious matters like the harsh effects of toxic waste.

Less contentious topics were featured as well, such as Toronto-based photographer Darren Rigo’s selfie taken in the forest. Rigo says his photos capture the tranquil and serene but often forgotten beauty of Canadian forests. Vancouver-based jeweller Bridget Catchpole describes on her website that her art is made of non-recycled plastics she finds littered around Canadian land and transformed into beautifully crafted jewelry was also on display.

The mixture of art forms at the event allowed the artists and the audience to see the Canadian landscape in different perspectives.

“I’m an installation artist so my work is driven by conceptual framing, the medium comes out of that. It’s a great exhibition,” said MacGregor.

MacGregor was overjoyed to have her work displayed with Canadian landscape artists for the evening, “There is a long and complex history of landscape painting so it worked very well for my video to be next to that work.”

Sheridan Ceramics graduate Nurielle Stern

Darren Rigo's selfie taken in Canadian forestry, photo taken by the artist.

Darren Rigo’s selfie taken in Canadian forestry, photo taken by the artist.

had her piece “Every So Often” displayed at the exhibit as well. She describes her work as evocative that hopefully conveys a feeling or an atmosphere.

“My ceramics are saturated with texture and vibrant glazes giving them a hyper-real quality. In this way, I can make a fictional world of my own imagining, creating things that are at once strange and familiar.”

Stern says she is honoured to have her work displayed with such passionate artists, working within the same realm.

“I feel privileged to be part of this community and to have the opportunity to show my work at a venue like Harbourfront Centre alongside an amazingly diverse grouping of Canadian artists working across media.”

Feature imagine was taken by Nurielle Stern of her work entitled “Eyes of Metal and Agate”