Natural elements have a way of living through human interference and natural obstructions, though some can’t survive. The life cycles of trees and plants and the impact that individuals make on the environment inspires her and her art is intended to cause the viewer to consider how their actions can make a difference to the natural world around them. Natural elements are integrated within constructed environments or have glass and other materials inserted within them. The use of glass is deliberate as it is fragile material but also one of great strength that can assume a myriad of different forms and shapes. By asserting it within the works as a compositional juxtaposition element, it creates an element of tension and subtly reminds us of the balance needed for harmonious and sustainable living. Her work questions society’s valuation (and subsequent conservation or extermination) of certain species depending on what we decide to name it.
Ward’s component of the exhibition is arranged with the objects at a fairly low level - one happens upon them much as one would find a nest or something in the woods when going out for a walk. The vast space around them emphasizes their fragility and reinforces the fact that nature is being threatened, at risk of being lost. Ward also uses the nest also to represent home and safety, and in effect the works become little "islands" of respite in the midst of a world that can be overwhelming.
Together, Bukowski’s and Ward’s works create a meaningful dialogue, addressing subjects that resonate on personal and global levels.
We acknowledge the special project support for Fragile Nature by the Ontario Arts Council.
The Gallery dedicates the Fragile Nature exhibition to the memory of Len Gertler. "
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