About Exhibitions

Exhibitions encourage public engagement, bridging cultures and building strong communities through the arts.

The Sun & The Soil
May 24 - June 29, 2024
CityScape Community ArtSpace Gallery
Opening Reception Thursday, May 23, 2024, 7- 9pm

Artists: Anna Heywood-Jones, Emily Neufeld, Jennifer Brant, Mitra Mahmoodi, and Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi

At the foundation of the work presented by the five artists in this exhibition is a sensuous experience of land, interdependence, and wayfinding. Whether articulating the relationship between fibre, dye, mordant, soil, and season through colour and cloth, these artists prioritize perception, both the act of seeing and the dynamic participation of body with place.

Artist Talk Wednesday, May 29th, 6pm – 8pm with Emily Neufeld and Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi
Artist Talk Saturday, June 22, 1pm – 3pm with Anna Heywood Jones and Jennifer Brant

Artist Statements:

Anna Heywood-Jonesannaheywood-jones.com

In botanical nomenclature tinctorial is used to denote plants with known dye-bearing properties. Cartographies refers to the art or technique of map making. The Tinctorial Cartographies project emerged from the desire to undertake an in-depth exploration of dye plants growing in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) and to create a regional lexicon of colour. The project is in one sense a study of the terroir of colour, yet it also strives to consider the complex meanings held within plant life, and our relationship to it, articulated through the processes of harvesting, extracting, and dyeing… In the interest of capturing a seasonal range of plant-derived colour, the project took place over a calendar year. I began the research process by identifying candidate dye plants, and subsequently travelled across the region to locate and harvest them. Over time, the project grew to involve a more intuitive and serendipitous approach, wherein fieldwork would reveal significant plants within a given area and their dye-bearing potential would be discovered upon extraction in the pot. Over course of the year, I came to learn/see that land is a deep repository of knowledge, and that the presence and absence of plant species offers insight into the complex cultural, political, and ecological histories of Mi’kma’ki…The complete Tinctorial Cartographies project houses one-hundred and fifty dyed swatches.

Emily Neufeld  | www.emilyneufeld.com

Transplant is comprised of wetland and riparian plants and stones that were harvested from a wetland just outside Bonavista, Newfoundland. They were taken into an empty house in the fishing town of Bonavista. The walls in the house are covered in eight layers of wallpaper. The top layer has a pattern of cherry blossoms that I carefully cut out of the wallpaper and pinned into the false landscape. Just like I transplanted the wetlands into the house, where they will die without human intervention, cherry trees are not native to turtle island and were transplanted here.

Jennifer Branthttps://jenniferbrant.ca/

shared microbial destiny: soil microbe stuffies set no.2

I started working with microbes (without knowing I was working with microbes) about twenty years ago when I began making my own yogurt. What followed was the formation of a conscious relationship with the microbes that contribute so profoundly to who we are as beings, as communities, and as stewards of our own bodies and of the land we are a part of. Research is being done that shows how the health and diversity of our microbiome is reflected in our mental health, particularly depression, as well as research showing that communities eating the same fermented foods are connected. I am fascinated by this.

The textile pieces that are included in this exhibition are the most recent iteration of this series. They are made with repurposed textiles and dyed with a variety of local plant material. By enlarging microbes and making them into comfort objects,  I am attempting to heighten our awareness of our integral relationship to the microbial world and encourage our affection for it. Balancing them in a precarious pile, I am hinting at the tenuous health of the soils upon which we are deeply dependent.

Mitra Mahmoodi | https://www.mitramahmoodi.com/

My research revolved around memory in art, assembling recollections, bit by bit of the adobe houses that was lost in the mist of time and gradually appeared from out of the shadow. Visiting my grandparents houses a few times in a year for most of my life, in a small village full of adobe buildings in Isfahan, Iran, embed in my memory, which led to creating this body of work. Once I was working on this body of work, frequently I got back to those childhood memories and those scenes. In any single work in this series, many different environment and senses came together to make one piece. Their tactile quality, earthy colors, combination of sharp lines and soft curves, their damp earth smell once they were wet, niches, long dark corridors, are all just a few elements that matters most to me once I was creating these works.

Mehran Modarres-Sadeghi www.mehranmodarres.com

Mother Tongue is a scroll drawing which reflects the artist’s journey of reconnecting with her homeland’s plants and cultural traditions through the lens of British Columbia’s wild plants. Using pen and ink and drawing directly on canvas, she intricately drew the shadows of the wild plants she collected entangled with the shadows of the leaves of fruit trees popular among Iranian immigrants. The materials and techniques used in this work reflect her ongoing exploration of three-dimensional and semi-abstract drawings.

Sini (Tray) is a sculpture from her ongoing series of Thread, a collection that holds immense cultural significance. It features a traditional copper tray wrapped in black string, symbolizing the care and protection taken when the objects are seen as tokens of phenomenological or collective memory. The title, Sini, is the tray’s name in Persian-English (Farsi-English). The objects in this series are among the precious items the artist brought from her home city of Isfahan in Iran. The copper tray, a homage to traditional Iranian gardens, serves as a vessel for collecting fruits and flowers, further amplifying its cultural significance.

Lost Gardens is a series of drawings in which the artist uses graphite to create meticulously detailed drawings based on preserved, pressed plants from the herbarium collection at the UBC Beaty Museum. The series serves as a poignant reminder of the loss of these plants, inviting viewers to reflect on the impact of human actions on the natural world.