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4525-47a Avenue, Red Deer, AB T4N 6Z6
By: MAG Curators
The stop-motion animation Bower, by Jennifer Wanner, features the plant species at risk that grow on Canadian soil but also live beyond borders. The word bower is derived from the Middle English word bour meaning “dwelling”. Our planet is currently considered the only dwelling that supports life as we know it; we should honour how we live within it.
In this five-minute animation the central plant-character, a threatened aquatic plant called Bolander’s Quillwort (Isoetes bolanderi) that grows in Alberta, California, northern Arizona, and New Mexico, desperately attempts to build its shelter using fellow plant species at risk. The soundtrack, entitled Bloom – II Playful, composed by Dorothy Chang and performed on the cello by Yuri Hooker, contributes to the manic disposition of the central plant-character caught in a futile struggle to construct its elaborate protective bower.
The frantic efforts of the Bolander’s Quillwort mirror humanity’s drive to develop technologies and organizational systems that attempt to restore and protect what we are on the verge of destroying: the natural world – our bower. The frenzied response to environmental crises favours adaptation rather than conservation and preservation.
Bower, 2020, stop-motion animation
4 min 58 sec
Music: Bloom - II Playful, composed by Dorothy Chang
Cello Performed by: Yuri Hooker
Music Courtesy of: Kylix Music Publishing
Collection of the Artist
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Teena Dickerson creates new life forms in her mixed media metal sculptures by merging fossil shapes with the images of living animals including humans. Their shapes and forms are interconnected across time, echoing one another.
In the same spirit, Jennifer Wanner works in hand-cut inkjet paper collages and animation to explore the idea of “second nature”: copies of a pristine “first nature” that often no longer exist.
This exhibition is on display at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery (MAG) until April 21, 2021.