What defines us as Canadian? Revelstoke-based artist Bruce Thomas set out on a cross-Canada tour in search of an answer, and he presents it in his Season Cycle landscape project, which is still ongoing. Thomas challenges the Canadian historical landscape perspective, and uncovers a new approach to traditional landscape painting. He attempts to include Canada’s growing multi-cultural mosaic from the perspective of the changing seasons and the cycle of life they reflect.
Traveling across Canada, but primarily focusing on British Columbia, Thomas interviewed hundreds of Canadians and documented their perspectives on what defines the quintessential Canadian landscape. This research forms the foundation of his multi-media project; additionally, the Season Cycle derives some of its inspiration from Thomas’ previous large scale exhibit, namely, The Canadian PULSE Project, and will incorporate wood and stone carvings, video, photography, and mixed media paintings, all converging to express and explore Thomas’s experiences travelling across Canada.
This particular exhibit focuses mainly on the seasonal flora and fauna of various regions of BC: from showing the very real concerns regarding the ecological fragility of various landscapes, caused by rapid human development, to simply showcasing the diverse representation of landscapes that can be found in our very own country. The data for the series were gathered through various interviews, field recordings and drawings, and they were then compiled and transformed into a series of large-scale mixed media compositions, sculptures, books, and videos.
“I believe this form of integrated, journalistic, interpretive media has the potential to produce new hybrid art forms, which will encourage innovative practices and ultimately break new ground in terms of understanding our rapidly evolving national identity,” says Thomas.
The Season Cycle will ultimately condense the essence of an entire film into a series of individual frames on canvas. His methodology is a “series-based”, constructivist approach that uses different mediums to produce tangible examples of an intangible inspiration.
Season Cycle is on display at Telus World of Science in Vancouver from June 22 to September 22. The opening reception is Thursday, June 22, from 6–8 p.m.