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Nature prominent in exhibit

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Nature features prominently in two exhibits at the uptown Nanaimo Art Gallery.

Arboretum Arborescence, by Vancouver artist Haruko Okana, incorporates natural materials to explore the intersection of humans, the natural environment and conservation.

The installation uses nine-foot coniferous flues made of voile, a lightweight sheer fabric, in colours of pale green to deep brown, pierced with thousands of pine needles.

Each flue is lit with a spotlight that casts halos and shadows on beds of sawdust on the gallery floor.

The intent is for people to walk into the space and gently touch the pieces.

The work is “an opportunity to step out of the cacophony of modern living into the quietude of nature’s teahouse,” Okana said.

Tom Bendtsen’s Onwards combines film and video installations, drawings and three-dimensional techniques to focus on the contradiction between post-modern culture and the natural world.

Onwards consists of pencil drawings on paper of infantile birds dressed in human attire and hung upside down from detached tree branches. The birds are unable to fly and incapable of liberating themselves.

“Our constant quest to re-establish meaning on our own terms has led us into an endless process of creating, defining and arguing for its own sake,” Bendtsen said.

“It seems that in our accelerated times this reactive process, progress as virtue, has become destructive.”

The drawing style imitates the etchings of Goya’s Los Capricos editions.

The exhibitions open at the art gallery Nov. 2 with a reception 7-9 p.m. The exhibit closes Dec. 20.

For more information, please call the art gallery at 740-6350.

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