George Gilmour Members’ Gallery
Heather Smith: Cut Wood – Don Phillips Scholarship Exhibition
Each year, Open Studio awards three scholarship/fellowship residencies to artists of merit, as chosen through an annual juried selection process
Heather Smith, recipient of the Don Phillips Scholarship, graduated from the Fine Arts program at Queen’s University (2012). She is from Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, and primarily uses this area for her source imagery, which she translates into a graphic and illustrative style. Smith will return to Nova Scotia this fall to study cartography and is excited for how this scientific graphic representation of place will integrate into her artistic practice.
We imagine pristine old growth forests: groves filled with dappled light and birdsong. Or we imagine clear-cut hillsides: devastation and ruins under a heavy grey sky. But these woods are both at once: wilderness and work, habitat and production, growth and destruction. Piles of pulpwood are as much a part of the landscape as piles of pinecones. Carrying in wood for the fire, listening to a distant chainsaw through the trees, or sorting seedlings at a forestry nursery, Heather Smith’s experience of the woods has always included the spheres of both wilderness and work. Smith hopes to show a reverence for the land and its beauty; the idealism of living and working with the land; and an awareness of the unsustainable destruction in which we participate — as all existing together. Smith’s hand-printed wallpaper depicts the beautiful wild tangle of the forest, but its repeating pattern is also a kind of mass production. While the forest is still a wild and natural place, it is also a place that we make and harvest as an industry. Logging can not be left out of the landscape.