We thought we had never seen a more beautiful country. Every slope and undulation was a lawn and natural garden almost as enchantingly beautiful as the most elegantly finished pleasure grounds in Europe. One could hardly believe that this was not the work of art.
2 screen video projection with sound, 7:50 duration (loop), digital photograph and vinyl text.
The title of this work is a collage of comments made by Captain George Vancouver (1792), Midshipman Chimmo (1846) and naturalist Beerthold Seemann (1846), early European travellers to Vancouver Island.
Filmed in parks and ecological preserves in the South Eastern region of Vancouver Island - unceded First Nations lands - the double-video projection presents a fantasmic landscape occupied by Garry oak forests and ecosystems.
Comprised of the only oak species native to British Columbia, the Garry oak ecosystems (t'xwulhp ~ p'xwulhp in Hul'q'umi'num, the Snuneymuxw First Nations language), now almost gone, were managed for food production by the Indigenous people of the region before contact.
Installation view in the exhibition Rain Shadow at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, 2021.