Have you ever tried to keep track of all the life data you encounter in a whole year?
From the Winter Solstice 2021 to the Winter Solstice 2022, this is what local artists Emily van Lidth de Jeude and Markus Roemer, with the contribution of Taliesin van Lidth de Jeude Roemer, have been doing. Grasping the change of seasons through photographs, collecting local environmental data, and translating their experience into poems and visual art in order to create an interactive installation called ‘One Solar Year’.
After a year-long journey of mindful observation and creativity, the two long-term Bowen residents are now offering to the community an astronomical, social, and ecological landscape of the previous solar year at the Hearth Gallery.
When you enter this time capsule, 2022 unfolds itself as a map all around the gallery. As you walk clockwise, the photographs and poems of Emily overlap the graphing of Markus which all together create a frieze responding to environmental and socio-political events.
The pictures of local wilderness, taken by Emily and her son Taliesin, show the evolution of the color scheme over the solar year, while the graphing translates visually the cycles of sun, moon, temperatures, tides, and light on Bowen Island.
“Visualizing the data not only helps us understand our world, but also plan better. We think it’s really an enlightening experience to see the year’s natural cycles visualized in this way and look forward to sharing it with others,” says Emily van Lidth de Jeude.
Below the artists’ work, an additional component adds itself to this long frieze: a community mural! On a continuous stripe of paper, the artists are inviting all the visitors to contribute to this collective memory by sharing their experience of seeing the year in this form, as well as depicting personal events and experiences through mark making, words, or abstraction.
In the center of the exhibition space, Emily also showcases one of her altered wedding dresses, entitled (dis) robe: Gaia Gown, which, in another unique way, depicts local ecology over the course of a year.
Throughout this interactive installation, local seasonal changes, events, temperatures, and solar aspects of the previous year become tangible and visible in a way we don’t commonly experience – a creative way to reflect on our world, plan for the future, and appreciate the present.
The pictures and poems are compiled in a beautiful book which, like the show as a whole, explores the changes of 2022. Local wilderness photos by Taliesin and Emily are the foundation for poems that discuss our human connection with each other and our ecology. Some copies will be available at the Hearth for the time of the exhibition and purchase will be available on Emily’s website: (www.emilyartist.ca)
On Saturday, April 22 from 3:30 to 5 pm, an opening reception will be hosted at the Hearth gallery with the presence of the artists. This will be followed by a tour into the cottage trail where the artists will talk about the social and ecological history of the trail, point out individual plants that have stories associated as well as wild edibles, and read poems.
One Solar Year, an interactive exhibit by Emily van Lidth de Jeude and Markus Roemer, runs at the Hearth from April 19 to May 1.