Forest House Studio backs onto the 8.7-hectare Woodhaven Nature Conservancy. This park opens to the hills and trails at the back, but with tall chain-link fences on three sides. For wildlife, the gate creates a dead end before housing and roads. The Forest Gate painting is a meditative circle design reflecting on nature’s spillover from within the contained areas, revealing something of the beauty that was once there, the hopeful glimpses still present, and the potential for rebound.

Forest Gate Mandala

Forest Gate

by Susan Burnham Neilson

Oil on Canvas

30″ x 30″

Wild Spaces and Community Borders

With the end of the resident caretaker programs in several Okanagan Regional District parks this year, I wonder if the new emphasis on just locking and unlocking gates will be enough to protect the wilderness areas. I appreciate the need for borders to keep our human development from completely taking over all things wild, but ideally freedom is better than more barriers. The parks have so very much to offer. Hopefully the gates will continue to stay open as much as possible, so we can continue to experience the complex and subtle beauties of the forest.

“Fences” Exhibition

 Two Rivers Public Art Gallery

January 18 – April 1, 2018 in Prince George

Artists from across BC

Shirley Babcock, Emilie Crewe, Samantha Dickie, Lori Goldberg, Betty Kovacic, mary mottishaw, Susan Neilson, Perry Rath, Michael Rees, Rachel Rozanski

Description from the Two Rivers Gallery publications:

“Like a wall, fences keep people, animals, or things apart from each other, control access, or prevent escape. A fence can be an invisible boundary built from assumptions, preconceptions, cultural differences, and bias – or a friendly boundary born of respect. In the face of a resurgent global nationalism, fences and walls have particular connotations.

Two Rivers Art Gallery invited BC artists to “consider the power ‘fences’ have over our behaviour and the different types of physical or metaphoric fences that exist politically, socially and personally.”

Artwork by artists working in a range of media was selected from across the province.

The sketchbook drawing that started this project

Tiny Warbler Chick Survivors

At the edge of the park
Golden Spirals - Sketchbook Nature Study by Susan Neilson
Warblers, Pinecones, Ink, Gouache, Golden Spirals, Butterfly Effect, Geometry, Art and Science, Mandala, Art and Meditation,  Woodhaven Park,  Art and Nature, Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada, Canadian Artist, Susan Neilson, Forest Gate
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