Giant Landscape: British Columbia LandscapesJune 5, 2009 - June 5, 2009
Everything in British Columbia is larger than anywhere else in Canada; the mountains, trees, flowers, the Pacific vistas. The extremes of physical scale and rugged beauty have alternately intimidated and attracted artists. In 1940 artist Jack Shadbolt made reference to British Columbia’s ‘giant landscape’ as something the artists of his time could easily accept. Earlier artists found this region daunting as they attempted to view it through eyes accustomed only to tamed Old World landscapes.
Giant Landscape, drawn from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s collection, examines how landscape imagery functions in British Columbia art. It explores how approaches to the monumental and richly varying topography have changed from the romantic visions of early visitors to the region to interpretations by those living here such as Emily Carr, Fred Varley, E.J. Hughes, Sybil Andrews, and B.C. Binning. These works reflect the energy and beauty of the province through symbolism, emotional exploration, and abstraction. More recent approaches such as Michael Morris’s conceptual abstractions or the photo-based work of d. bradley muir question the very idea of landscape within our contemporary experiences.