the FOREST & the TREES
June 10 - July 30, 2017
Much of the land we now call Canada was until recently covered with trees. Forests and the creatures that inhabit them provided the Indigenous peoples with everything they needed to sustain themselves – food, clothing, shelter - but even more, cultural identity and a way of life. To the first European settlers, however, the forests and trees were primarily barriers to settlement or exploitable resources. It has taken contemporary science and ecology to remind many of us that forests are complex ecosystems and that we do not exist in isolation from our natural surroundings. We are part of the ecosystems we inhabit and we neglect or destroy them at our own peril – and that of all living things.
The Forest and the Trees, recognizes the long and complex relationship between humans and forests and celebrates the resilience, longevity and awe-inspiring individuality of trees. Each artist explores a different relationship with trees and together they help us to better understand our country and ourselves in a timely addition to our sesquicentennial programming.
Floyd Elzinga received his BFA from NSCAD in Halifax. He has chosen to work with steel because of its malleability and visual range. He uses traditional metal working techniques to create texture and depth the same way that a painter would use a paintbrush. He lives and works in Beamsville.
Liz Menard is a Toronto-based printmaker, visual artist, and educator. She is particularly interested in how our perception of the landscape helps us define who we think we are. She is concerned about environmental biodiversity and the native plant species and wildlife that need to be cared for, protected, and nurtured.
Duane Nickerson holds an MFA and a Governor General's Gold Medal award from the University of Calgary. He has embraced oil painting in the tradition of the old masters; his work has been said to ‘transcend the ordinary and embrace the surreal and strange’. He lives and works near Hamilton.