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.
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, 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.
Exhibitions – Vancouver 2020 and Prince George 2018
This painting was created as a portfolio piece not available for sale, but in the fall of 2020 it will be available at an exhibition in Vancouver. Forest Gate was selected for a provincial exhibition in 2018 and now it will be going to the Artists for Conservation Festival opening this October 1-4, at VanDusen Gardens in Vancouver.
This painting will be included in the 2020 live AFC Festival exhibition. After the opening, some selections will then tour internationally. All participating artists will donate portions of proceeds from art sales, to conservation partners.
Please link to the AFC for more information: https://festival.artistsforconservation.org
The AFC International Foundation is a registered charity in Canada
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.