Gateway Gazette

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity Lights Up National Parks with ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature

ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature

Participative artwork experience by artist Sarah Fuller and Moment Factory lights up national parks

Banff, AB – This fall, Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity celebrates the histories that have shaped Canada with a participative artwork experience by contemporary visual artist, Sarah Fuller, and Montreal multimedia studio, Moment Factory. Commissioned by Banff Centre, ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature takes place in two locations. First, on Treaty 7 Territory in Banff National Park, Canada’s First National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from October 5 – 7, 2017. Following that, on the traditional territories of 10 first nations in Rouge National Urban Park, Canada’s first urban national park in the Greater Toronto Area, from October 19 – 21, 2017. Free ticket registration for both locations is now available online at banffcentre.ca/illuminations.

From deep time to the present, ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature shines a spotlight on the landscape, people and heritage of Canada by weaving together the unseen narratives of the human and the natural in both Banff National Park and Rouge National Urban Park – from their geological formation, ecology and biodiversity, to Indigenous and colonial settler history, as well as conservation.

“This project is truly exceptional; not only in its geographic scale as it spans two national parks, but also in its scope. Watching a dedicated team of artists, storytellers and creators come together from across the country has been inspirational.” says Janice Price, President and CEO, Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity. “As Canada’s home for artist training and creation, Banff Centre is proud to celebrate Canada 150 with a work that honours the past of the land while imagining a bold and inclusive future.”

Through storytelling, projection and technology, ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature re-imagines nature without boundaries and the future of the wild spaces in a fully engaged, experience that uncovers the unseen narratives of each site.

In small groups, visitors are equipped with a portable toolkit that lead them on a journey in each park at night. The journey culminates in a multimedia campfire experience that brings the smaller groups together as a community.

“There are many different perspectives, narratives and histories in each place,” says contemporary visual artist Sarah Fuller, who works with photography and site-specific installation pieces. “To try and bring that together in a meaningful and respectful way is a humbling challenge.”

The creative process surrounding ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature was highly collaborative, with Fuller and Moment Factory – a dedicated team of artist researchers including Jessie Short, Zoe Lepiano and Simon M. Benedict – meeting in Banff and Rouge several times over the course of one year to discuss the project. They met with Elders and community leaders from both Lake Minnewanka on Treaty 7 Territory and the Rouge National Urban Park site to discuss responsibility to land, memory, conservation and future hopes for land use on each site.

“I was trying to not privilege one history, but to look at as many as I possible could,” says artist researcher Jessie Short, who is of Metis heritage.

Special care was taken to create an ecologically sensitive project that encourages people to reconnect with nature in a low impact and thoughtful way.

“Collaborating with artist Sarah Fuller on a project that highlights nature and allows visitors to interact with it while renewing their connection with these grand wild spaces, is a tremendous opportunity for us.” says Gabriel Pontbriand, Creative Director, Moment Factory.

One the project has closed, an archive of voices, sources and documents will be available in each community for public access. The final written material for the project will be available in English, French and in discussion with communities, a predominate Indigenous language of each site.

ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature is generously funded by the Government of Canada, Mackie Family Creation Endowment, and Gay Mitchell and Archie McIntosh Creation Endowment Fund, with support from Parks Canada, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism and Town of Banff.

“2017 has been an exceptional year, and there’s much more to come! We are delighted to support this impressive Banff Centre initiative, which gives Canadians an opportunity to discover the stories that have shaped our country, through the fusion of art and technological innovation. Take advantage of Canada 150 events and celebrations to join together as part of your community and to strengthen the bonds that unite us all, while enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings!” exclaimed the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

To learn more about the development of the project check out Banff Centre’s interview with Fuller and Pontbriand in our new biannual magazine, InStudio. For tickets to ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature , register online at banffcentre.ca/illuminations.

 

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