Nature as Communities

3 May – 14 July, 2019

Diyan Achjadi, Dip, 2018. Image courtesy of the artist.

Diyan Achjadi, PA System & Embassy of Imagination (Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson, and youth collaborators: David Pudlat, Moe Kelly, Christine Adamie, Nathan Adla, Lachaolasie Akesuk), Ayoka Junaid, Becoming Sensor (Ayelen Liberona and Natasha Myers, with sound composer Allison Cameron), Sandra Semchuk, Jay White and Jennifer Schine

From speculative fictions to art as storytelling; from indigenous-settler relationships to the “wider-than-human”; from land-based practices to the “Planthropocene”, Nature as Communities considers how artists across Canada are reimagining our understanding of environment by listening and attending to place. Through situated knowledges and explorations of ancestry, memory, history, and mythology, these artists suggest how place-responsive works can encourage a re-thinking, re-imaging, and re-sounding of more sustainable and livable futures.

Drawing from environmental justice theorist Giovanna di Chiro’s idea of nature as community, the exhibition points to artistic investigations into notions of nature, culture, and place from within Canada’s multiple geographies. In these works, Environment becomes environments: multiple and varied, and culturally, biotically, geographically, and epistemically situated. Knit together by the threads of a consciousness that recognizes the confluence of environment, sustainability, and social justice, Nature as Communities helps us to see the connections between climate and cultural change. Incorporating sound, video projections, and other means to re-populate emptied landscapes while exploring political ecologies of place, power, and responsibility, these works are an invitation to reflect on questions of accountability to both human and non-human generations of the future–as well as to those of the past and present.

Nature as Communities is curated by Jennifer Yakamovich, Master of Environmental Studies candidate in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University, in collaboration with Dalhousie Art Gallery staff.