New Winter Exhibitions as Part of Exposure Photography Festival Open at the Whyte
Updated: Feb 1
On January 20th, 2023, the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies celebrated the opening of two new exhibitions, Redesigning Paradise and All Our Relations: Portraits From the Elders' Gatherings, as part of the Exposure Photography Festival. Two of the founding members of Exposure, Craig Richards and Dianne Bos, are featured in this year's exhibitions, alongside visual artists Mary Anne Barkhouse, Sarah Fuller, and Penelope Stewart.
"In recent years, the Whyte has focused on exhibitions and programs that connect people to nature, we want to encourage them to look at the world around them with fresh eyes," explained Whyte Museum CEO Donna Livingstone in the opening remarks.
"Well, we didn’t dream of how far the talented visual artists would take this idea. If you’ve come expecting conventional landscape photos of the mountains, prepare yourself."
With photographic techniques ranging from traditional to contemporary, each artist brings a unique perspective, interpretation, and connection to their work.
Alternative photographic processes have been the creative catalyst for four Canadian artists – Mary Anne Barkhouse, Dianne Bos, Sarah Fuller, and Penelope Stewart – during their annual get-togethers and self-directed residencies for several years. The work in this exhibition addresses aspects of the natural environment in different ways by using photography as an investigative tool.
The artists in this exhibition offer a variety of cultural perspectives that look at the flora, fauna, and weather patterns of the foothills, mountains, and other ecosystems. Informed by the Whyte Museum Archives, this work allows the viewer to arrive at a place of empathy for the other – both human and non-human – while thinking through the many ways landscape has been altered by human disturbances.
Check out the recent media coverage of Redesigning Paradise:
On Art: Redesigning Paradise at the Whyte Museum in Banff | Grant Stovel with CKUA Radio
Artists use alternative photographic processes to investigate nature | Joseph Paris with Galleries West
Redesigning Paradise offers alternative views of natural world | Jessice Lee with Rocky Mountain Outlook
ALL OUR RELATIONS
PORTRAITS FROM THE ELDERS' GATHERINGS
Every year, for the past 19 years, Indigenous Elders have gathered in the shadow of Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain, near the banks of the Bow River, in Banff National Park. Elders from First Nations and Métis communities on both sides of the Rocky Mountains come from seven major language groups. They come from families with stories told through generations of using and sharing this valley, the rivers, mountains, Buffalo, and Salmon.
The Elders meet, family stories are shared, and traditional medicines are exchanged. They discuss a range of issues including problems facing youth, the effects of residential schools, and how to bring back the Buffalo and Salmon to the prairies and rivers. The gatherings provide hope and direction for restoring culture, language, and community health, now and into the future. Over the years, youth have been invited to participate and have brought additional perspectives to the conversations. This has also been an opportunity for the Elders to pass on their knowledge.
An annual three-day event, these gatherings are led by the Elders and hosted by the Juniper Hotel in Banff which is located on a historically significant site for First Nations peoples. These gatherings have become a spiritual experience that bonds participants and unifies their voices as brothers and sisters.
Check out the recent media coverage of All Our Relations:
Indigenous Elders focus of upcoming Whyte Museum portrait exhibition | Jessica Lee with Rocky Mountain Outlook
Gallery 1: Winter exhibition opening at the Whyte Museum. Photos by Josh Segeleski.