Men and Nature

It’s pretty hard to think of global warming after this unusually long and cold winter we’ve had. Anyone who grew up in the Sault likes to remind us young folks and newcomers that back in their day never ending snow and freezing temperatures were common place. I don’t doubt it – a sure tell sign of climate change. As Al Gore said in his 2006 documentary An inconvenient Truth global warming is a reality that has and will continue to impact the way that we live.

What sets the Art Gallery of Algoma’s upcoming exhibition, Men and Nature opening February 28th at 6:30pm, apart from current discussions on global warming is its exploration of the earth’s transformations as a two way process. The exhibition looks holistically at the relationship between those changes to the environment that are caused by human development and those that are naturally occurring. Each of the six artists featured in the exhibition explores these issues in his or her own way.

The images of Dr. Roberta Bondar, Gary Blundell, Victoria Ward, Dougal Bichan, Dr. Kathy Browning and Jeff McKersie reveal both the beautiful and equally powerful force that is mother earth.

While we often think of global warming – melting ice,  shifting rocks, higher tides, drought and endangered species as signs of an inevitable end, wherein humans are the sole perpetrators of  this eventual fate, Men and Nature asks us to look at the bigger picture. In addition to examining human impacts on the environment, the exhibition allows us to marvel at the earth’s agency, resiliency and adaptability.

For thousands of years the earth and its species have been naturally transforming, which is apparent in rock formations, mountains, bodies of water, and evolved species. In the past several hundred years humans have expedited this change. The question we are left asking ourselves after viewing this exhibition is what will these changes look like in the future – an answer which only time will tell.


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