The following is a blog post written by EcoArt Walk 2018 Coordinator Bea Miller
I have always been inspired by nature: from the snails and ants to the towering old growth trees, the simultaneous complexity and simplicity of ecosystems holds an abundance of concepts, images, connections, and materials to make art with and about. As an artist, educator, and facilitator primarily working with natural dyes, handweaving, found materials collage, and upcycling, I have been thrilled to be part of the CACV’s first Eco-Art Walk 2018! Launching June 17th 2018, the Eco-Art Walk 2018 will be a self-guided tour of installations created in Green Streets public gardens celebrating our environment.
Eco-Art is deeply rooted in both community building and ecological systems, so creating a public art tour of citizen-created art aligns deeply with the ethics and values of Eco-Art. I appreciate that Eco-Art is not just about natural materials, but also about conveying a concept about ecosystems, wilderness, environmental justice, and our relationship as humans to the natural environment.
It was so exciting to receive all the proposals from citizen artists detailing their creative ideas. I appreciated the themes that arose from the public in East Vancouver: love for trees, celebration of found and discarded objects, and attention to the beautiful details in both art and the environment. It was really cool to see how much overlap there was in the artists’ desire to communicate environmental issues and appreciation for the environment.
Most of the citizen artists in this project are working with found and upcycled materials rather than wildcrafting. Taking an ethical approach to harvesting plant material for art, food, and medicine is a very important practice; it involves considering all the other creatures that need to use the plant to live, including the plant itself. I’ve been really inspired by the participating artists’ desire to reduce, reuse, and recycle through their art practice as well as their care to preserve the natural environment.
Of course, my favourite part of this project is the people. The inspired and inspiring citizen artists are friendly, thoughtful, and creative; we’ve already had a fantastic team building session together. I can’t wait to see all the installations, and be part of the important conversations around human connection to nature. Please join us for the Launch Celebration of the Eco-Art Walk 2018 on June 17th, 2018, Noon – 4pm at the Napier Greenway near Britannia Community Centre. Tours will be leaving from there every hour. I hope that you’ll come see what we’re up to!