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Northern artists honouring Old Growth

by | Aug 5, 2022

Nurturing forests and increasing biodiversity is the primary theme of the Old Growth Resurrection, Regeneration, Intervention project at High Park and the Propeller Art Gallery in Toronto Aug. 6 to Sept. 15.

In addition, several artists are also involved with the Broken Forests Endangered Boreal Art and Environment tour through Northern Ontario Old Growth country, which culminates at the Finding Art, Animism and Alchemy and Old Growth conference at Nipissing University and the Canadian Ecology Centre Aug. 20-23.

The site-specific contemporary artworks at High Park are organic, found-art and low impact artworks by creators from Brazil and Canada. They focus thematically on reconnecting artists and arts audiences to Old Growth trees and their habitats.

Detail of Polypore Installation in a High Park Maple grove by O’Honey Collective

The project kicks off Saturday, Aug. 6 at 2 pm in the Propeller Art Gallery at 30 Abell St. Members of the media can meet artists and organizers until 5 pm or make arrangements with contact at bottom.

A variety of shows and performances are meant to shift the public gaze back to endangered wilderness and forests and perhaps nudge “extraction” industries to do their parts to nurture biodiverse forests. Co-curators, Dermot Wilson and James Fowler, have invited nine artists; collectives to install very short-term ecologically respectful artworks that will “shift the gaze” of park visitors. See Broken Forest Group Facebook Reels about various installations were recorded this week. Anne Marie Hadcock; Don Chretien; David and Leslie’s O’Honey Collective Polybors.

Over the course of the month, Broken Forests artists will be exhibiting artworks at Propeller Gallery, performing time-based artworks and creating benign and wonderful site interventions in High Park.

The Gallery component of the project includes the presentation of 39 artists, working in many different mediums, who have created new artworks that resurrect personal connections to wild forests.

The hope is to regenerate interest in the well-being of the forests, honour the people who have devoted their lives to saving these old trees and intervene or record interventions that focus public attention upon issues of concern to environmentalists.

Monday, August 15: Propeller Gallery, Broken Forests ‘Union’

Neryth Yamile Manrique from Colombia and Cecilia Stelini from Brazil will make a performance act entitled “Union”. The artists, using threads of colour red and burgundy, will unite the members of the Broken Forests Group. This symbolic act will represent gathering, togetherness and relation to continue on the journey. Hamilton-based Collective, T.H&B. will perform a yodelling backwoods barbecue as part of the Old Growth Resurrection series.

High Park Installations Interventions:

The artists for this exhibition include: The Honey Collective, T.H.&B., Don Chretien, Anne Marie Hadcock, Ernest Daetwyler, Joey Bruni, Quan Steele, the Raven Grove Collective and Norma Vieira.

The project aim is to elevate forests and relatively unknown wilderness areas by focusing public attention on their present states, especially the Old Growth forests that are under threat from various human forces/activities. A canoe made of branches will be installed Aug. 9 or 10th, dependent on weather.

BACKGROUND: The international Broken Forests Group has been working since 2018 to create art projects, exhibitions, performance festivals and arts symposia to help shed light once again upon the wonders of nature and how we can all contribute to regenerating the forests near us. They have completed Art and the Environment tours in Northern Ontario (2021) and Poland (2018) and will be visiting forests in Brazil in 2023.

Media Inquiries: Dermot Wilson, Project Leader, 705-358-1764 or email:

Dave Dale
Dave Dale

Writer, photographer and proud father. My mom’s family is from the Soo with its Algoma Highlands, dad hailed from Cobden in the Ottawa Valley and I spent my teen years in Capreol. Summers were at the beach on the Vermillion River and winters at ‘The Rink.’ Born in East York but Toronto never was my thing. Ever since a kid looking out the window on long trips, I imagined living on the highway in a little house with a big yard and trees growing all around me.

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