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Photo: City of Vancouver: Parks Recreation and Culture

“On December 15, 2006, after two short hours of gale-force winds, a storm devastated Stanley Park. Out of the devastation arose opportunities to renew, restore, and respond creatively…Between 2008 and 2009, six artists created environmental art works in Stanley Park by collaborating with ecologists, park stewards, environmental educators, and even the park’s ecology.”

Ephemeral art works

“Natural and organic materials are used to create works that will have a minimal impact on the environment and that will, over time, decay and return to the earth. This type of artwork is dynamic and ever-changing as outside elements, or the activities of animals and insects, will alter the look and aspect of the work. Eventually, only photographs will remain of these temporary works.” Quotations, City of Vancouver: Parks, Recreation and Culture

Ephemeral art by Tania Willard installed in Stanley Park, British Columbia

Artwork: Birth by Tania Willard, City of Vancouver Parks: Recreation and Culture

“Drawn to areas of the park I hadn’t yet explored, I started down Cathedral Trail and was immediately struck by the amazing root systems overturned during the storm. Looking at the root systems, I was struck by how they resembled the branching of vessels in a placenta and how they themselves are organs facilitating many of the same functions for life as the womb and umbilicus. My partner and I had just had our first son, Skyelar, and when I looked at this root system I felt it as if it was a part of me; I felt the land through to my core…For this piece I worked with a large, upturned rootball with an exposed root system. I stripped a layer of bark off of the root system to create a higher contrast and emphasis on the roots. Although the tree and root system are dead, the rootball itself has created new habitat. While working with it, I was awed by the new roots shooting through the soil on the underside of the rootball. Life is sprouting all over, stimulated by the devastation of the windstorms, ferns grow around the base of the rootball as well as patches of growth in the soil that is still held together by the roots. Suspended vertically like a wall, creating this view of the forest we do not normally get to see.” Tania Willard, Artist’s Statement

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Artwork: Uprooted by Shirley Wiebe, City of Vancouver Parks: Recreation and Culture