This recent show was all about WATER. The joint exhibit by local young artists and world-reknown photo-journalist Peter Bregg was presented at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery with the cooperation of Watercan, a well-known organisation dedicated to helping provide clean water to people in several African countries as well as those of First Nations right here in Canada. It was very gratifying both to see the art on display and to read the artists’ own views on this subject. (There were a great many pieces of art, in various media, and it is impossible to choose from them. I include only a few that really caught my eye. This entirely subjective, and even if your work has been left out, please know that you have given much joy to the galleries visitors! )
The great majority of living creatures on this planet simply cannot survive without vital element and this is something that cannot be taken for granted. It has been stated that the water of the near future would be about water, not oil, and, in fact, this has already started to happen. Corporate greed, overpopulation and lack of political will on the part of powers-that-be are some of the causes. We see this on the nightly news – or perhaps not, but have to go to alternative sources of information to learn, for example, of how some major corporations had tries to block of part of the waterflow of the river Ganges and prevent local people from using their own resource. We hear about the problems of the disappearing water-table in China, or the proliferation of golf courses in Indonesia that divert water from both the wilderness and the farmland. It had become clear that it is up to each of us to to do our bit. Recognize all of Nature’s gifts ans sacred and treat them accordingly.
So, I will begin this little review with the beautiful painting by Maize Longboat , whose own commentary says it best:
“Ahousaht” by Maize Longboat, 17, acrylic on canvas
“West Coast Native peoples were one with the ocean. It supplied them with everything from food to transportation and trade routes. It was the pristine base of their culture and way of life.”
The scene captured in the below photograph by Peter Bregg has become a familiar sight. Millions of people throughout the so-called “ThirdWorld”, primarily women and children, having to carry water, not always even potable water, for many miles every day:
Women carrying water on their heads” by Peter Bregg
“Dolphin” by Ruben Harding, 3, acrylic on canvas “I like dolphins and I am going to get a pet dolphin”.While this artist’s talent is evident, I do hope that he will realise with time that dolphins are meant to be free!
“Crimson Creative” by Chloe Murphy, 15, acrylic/airbrush paint. “Crabs have such a brilliant colour and I really wanted to express that with a textured background and a lighter outline so it would stand out.”
“Awesome Igloo” by Evie Clarke,7, mixed media sculpture. “I like igloos because I think their shpae is very interesting.” Apart from the fact that Evie’s igloo comes complete with animals, and that this yet another way using water – in the form of snow – as a building material, I have to agree – the igloos – or yurts, gers, teepees and many other housing structures both permanent and temporary of various aboriginal peoples throughout the world, do come in these natural shapes, that work with the landscape, can withstand forces of nature, are energy efficient in ways both “physical” and spiritual, and are making their comeback in a variety of materials – be those cob, earthbags, geodesic domes, etc. I am so glad that Evie has picked up on this earth-positive trend.
“Sea” by Gong Gong Graham, 8, acrylic. A rather sophisticated use of colour, and one cannot help but be drawn onto the painting and ride the waves!
“Waterfall Heaven” By Katherine Kennelly, 7, pencil crayon, fabric, tissue paper. “My first piece is about people having clean water. Everybody should be able to have clean water, but in places like Africa, many people do not have clean water. Some people even make money by polluting water! It is important for everyone to have clean water.” Yes, Katherine, some people do make money by polluting water and by diverting water sources, to learn more about this practice and how to stop it, please surf (as it were ) over to this site: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Vandana_Shiva/Water_Wars_VShiva.html
An unusual medium and very moving!
“Rocky Wave” & “White Cap” by Kamilla Hindmarch, 10, diptych, stones on board.
Hanalulu Harjula-Shinkai “Mermaid and a Girl”, drawing, ink on paper . Don’t you love these feline mermaids? (Or should it be “mercats”?)
“Drippy Droppy” by Zachary Harding, 8, paint and paper cut-outs
Very original and evocative, one can really feel and hear the rain! I love the clever use of this unorthodox medium!
“Little Rosie” by Peter Bregg
Sophie Towert, 16, acrylic on canvas.
17 kids: Coast Christian Home Schoolers, ages 5-14, Ballon Bomber, acrylic on canvas and water, tryptich
The creators of this amazing tryptich may have following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock, save for this innovation:
“These pieces were created by mixing the colours on the canvas using only water balloons. Once the kids were divided into three groups, they paint freely without touching each others’ paint. Then it was outside for the water balloon toss. So much fun!”
The following charming little painting is actually from the 2011 Shout Out show, but since it depicts an aquatic creature – otter – , I wanted to include it here:
“Playful Otter” by Alexis Doyle
“Latrine Pit” by Peter Bregg
Here is the link to this inspirational organization.
And this is the official site of Peter Bregg
Last of all, here are examples of people doing their bit to save the world’s water:
Excerpted from The Plachimada Declaration (by the people of the Indian State of Kerala, who successfully fought the Coca Cola company which was found guilty in court of committing hydropiracy. (Not my word, but it is used increasingly by activists.) :
Water is the basis of life; it is the gift of nature; it belongs to all living beings on earth. Water is not private property. It is a common resource for the sustenance of all. Water is the fundamental human right. It has to be conserved, protected, and managed. It is our fundamental obligation to prevent water scarcity and pollution and to preserve it for generations.
Water is not a commodity. We should resist all criminal attempts to marketize, privatize, and corporatize water. Only through these means we can ensure the fundamental and inalienable right to water for people all over the world. The Water Policy should be formulated on the basis of this outlook. The right to conserve, use, and manage water is fully vested with the local community. This is the very basis of water democracy. Any attempt to reduce or deny this right is a crime….”