Local artist inspired by Okanagan nature

PHOTOS: Wunderkammer: Nature’s Assemblages at Gallery Vertigo until June 1

There are so many interesting natural objects around us, but we often don’t notice them, according to Kelowna artist Meg Yamamoto.

Many of the items in Yamamoto’s work are even found in an urban environment, where people don’t tend to look.

Yamamoto said sometimes her dog helps her find items, often pointing out feathers for her.

Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo will be hosting Yamamoto’s solo exhibit Wunderkammer: Nature’s Assemblages, which can be viewed Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m until June 1.

Yamamoto said many of her assemblages are stories about the relationships between herself and the different species there are.

“There’s a correlation between looking at one species and admiring it for itself, while also making connections between the different species,” said Yamamoto, at her exhibition opening Thursday evening. “Like the feathers, the plants and the insects.”

Yammato explained that for example, she put Eurasian collared dove feathers in a box with sage, because whenever she would hear a Eurasian collared dove, there would be sage underneath it.

“I have that correlation in my brain of them being connected in that way,” said Yamamoto. “It’s a memory there.”

Yamamato also explained that many objects tell the story of an organism’s life.

An example Yamamato used was the change in colour throughout segments of a wasp nest, showing what the wasp ate on different days.

“There’s the history of the wasp there,” said Yamamoto. “The same way the life of a larvae is imprinted on that piece of wood through the pathway it left.”

Yamamoto uses minimal unnatural materials because she wants the items to maintain their character. When materials are added, it’s to emphasize the item’s natural aspects instead of covering it.

“I want to show that they’re already beautiful,” said Yamamoto.

Yamamoto began her work when she moved from Alberta to Kelowna three years ago to begin her Master of Fine Arts at UBCO, gathering samples to familiarize herself with local flora and fauna.

Related: Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo exhibits art made from nature

Related: Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo welcomes local artists for October exhibition

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