I first photographed this stand of trees on the drive to my grandmother’s funeral this past winter. I must’ve driven past them hundreds of times over the span of a decade without taking a picture. But they always stood out. This is the road to Standard, where my family first settled in Alberta over a hundred years ago. In this ground, where the roots of these trees have spread, my family began their life in Canada. It is on this land where Treaty 7 was signed, and the government of Canada mislead Indigenous leaders into a land surrender under the guise of a peace treaty. On this earth, only a few kilometres east, my family built homes on this deception, a community, and a small town still bustling with life. It is underneath this soil, where these roots have grown, where generations of my family are buried. And where I will join them. Through life and death, these trees will remain. This is the nature of my post-humanist project, ‘nuclear shadow’, and the first image of my series on display at @rossocoffeeroasters until the end of the month. Oblivious of this image, this platform, these prints, my gallery, my family, the history of this land, and my own life, these trees persist. This is what they look like.
This month at @rossocoffeeroasters I will be displaying work from an ongoing multimedia series, ‘nuclear shadow’, a post-humanist narrative exploring (the presence and absence of) life in industrial spaces. This is a project that emerged from experimental film techniques, creative writing, a short documentary, and creeping around the industrial park at sunset. These spaces, largely abandoned at night by the humans who operate them, are teeming with wildlife. An ecosystem has formed a tenuous and toxic relationship with the humans who have colonized the space; as birds, deer, and rabbits consume the industrial waste from grain and wheat production. The colour palette was curated to mimic post-apocalyptic and surrealist works. It is clear that in Alberta, and across the world, we have no intention of curbing our pernicious impact on the environment. ‘nuclear shadow’ seeks to represent what our world might look like, and what it has already become. •••
All prints are for sale, with a portion of proceeds to be donated to Ducks Unlimited Canada. If you’re downtown in Calgary, please stop by to take a look. For those of you who live elsewhere, all prints can be purchased online. Thank you and stay tuned.