On July 26th, environmental art guru John K. Grande shared his experiences of the field’s superstars with more than twenty enthusiastic audience members at CACV’s monthly Eco-Arts Salon. CACV and guests were honored to be able to share an evening with the internationally known writer and art critic while he was in Vancouver as the curator of an exhibition at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens. The exhibition, titled “Earth”, will last until the end of September and features some of the afore-mentioned superstar earth artists, such as Nils-Udo, Chris Booth, and Nicole Dextras.
Grande opened the salon with his own literary artwork. The poem, “Museum with No (Jeff) Walls”, besides being wonderfully witty, touched on some of the hot issues Grande proceeded to discuss, e.g. the modern media’s “coup d’etat on all things natural” and the immanent “extinction” of the importance of the “physical and tactile universe” in the post-modern art world. As he went through a beautiful slideshow of works by such notables as Dennis Oppenheim, David Nash and Herman de Vries, he also brought up issues of how earth artists address the eternity of nature versus the impermanence of human creations, experiment with the interplay between natural and manmade structures, and challenge the way we traditionally experience exhibition spaces.
The audience was so eager to hear the expert’s opinion on their own questions that Grande’s talk ran overtime and was relocated to the New Oxford Pub. Over beers and snacks, Grande and guests discussed the future of earth art in multimedia, the line between eco art and other fields such as landscape architecture, and the role of environmental science in artistic expression. The conversation continues at August 22nd’s Eco-Arts Salon featuring Claudia Morgado. Come find out “Why Artists Are Important Contributors to the Climate Change Conversation” at 7pm at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre!
~ Bryndís Lillian Hafþórsdóttir