When one hears the word “bog” one generally thinks of a wet marshy landscape and not the most creative of spaces. But for artist and TWU Assistant Professor of Art, Doris Hutton Auxier, the bog holds incredible power for artistic exploration, and is the foundation for a new collaborative exhibit with two other Langley artists.
Auxier says, “The bog evokes metaphors of difference, fragility, and loss. I am especially drawn to 'reclusive' nature, bits that grow in somewhat obscure or endangered environments and so I have been going to the bog regularly and ‘listening with my eyes.’”
Essentially a water-saturated mat of vegetation, bogs have been historically mined for peat. The Langley Bog was mined for over 28 years leaving the ground with new channels and ridges. Originally the bog was over 1300 acres but later 75% of it was converted into cranberry fields, 15% of it was mined for peat moss, and now only 10% remains as undisturbed bog forest.
For over a year the visual artist has been exploring the Langley Bog and responding with drawings and paintings. This spring, Auxier shared her passion for the bog with composer and TWU Assistant Professor of Music Jeff Warren, suggesting that he join her creative process and create a soundscape. After Warren was on board, Auxier invited artist and photographer Suzanne Northcott to join in on the collaboration.
Says Auxier, “Because of my interest in the visual that falls outside of the ordinary ideas of beauty, I chose to work with just 10 small pieces of moss for this show. Suzanne Northcott let her camera lens focus on stunning parts of the bog and Jeff, with his recording equipment, has been in the bog preparing his soundscape.”
Due to the fragile nature of the Langley Bog the group of artists had to receive special permission from Metro Vancouver Regional Parks to spend time in the vulnerable site conducting their visual and cultural research in preparation for the exhibit. The result of artistic exploration is Bog: Transformation and Memory, a collection of paintings, drawings, photographs and soundscape as the three artists uniquely respond to the rich life of the Langley Bog.
The exhibition is presented by The Fort Gallery, The Pacific Parklands Foundation, Derby Reach/ Brae Island Parks Association and Metro Vancouver. The collaboration is on exhibition in Fort Langley at The Fort Gallery beginning August 19th and running until September 6th. The opening reception takes place on Aug 21st from 7:00-9:00pm.
Event at a Glance
What: Art Exhibit “Bog: Transformation and Memory”
Where: The Fort Gallery 9048 Glover Road, Fort Langley, BC.
When: August 19 through until September 6, 2009. Opening August 21st from 7:00-9:00pm
Time: Wednesday to Sunday from 12:00-5:00pm
Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.
Last Updated: 2009-08-16