Cascadia: New Art Exhibit in British Columbia

Cascadia, a new exhibition, will be running from January 24th to March 31st at The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The show explores diverse art practices of visual artists from various regions in the Northwest Coast who are examining and exploring diverse concepts of the landscape (rural and urban) as well as social, cultural and political issues from a Pacific Northwest perspective.  These artists provoke a re-imaging of a specific social, cultural and political landscape to establish a dialogue between artists living in different place addressing different audiences as well as one another and demarcating zones of cultural production.

One of the objectives of Cascadia is to establish a dialogue between visual artists from Washington, British Columbia, Alaska and the Yukon and explore the similarities and difference of art practices from those specific regions.  Cascadia is a visual framework in which diverse artistic points of view are initiated and new dialogues multi-media art works mediate between artists and cultures on North America’s Pacific North Coast.

"Cascadia... still retains a sense of self identity. This exhibition explores that identity."

Scott Mardsen, Curator.

Participating Artists

Exhibition by Marten Berkman (Yukon), Michael Brophy (Oregon), Judith Currelly (British Columbia), Owen Kydd (British Columbia) and Vanessa Renwick (Oregon)and curated by Scott Marsden.


Marten Berkman's multi-media approach explores the parameters of new technologies interpreting and reflecting the landscape and offers the viewer a complex layer of meaning and relationships between the Earth and global industrial culture. His creative process challenges assumptions and dualities that provide a contemporary vehicle for sensitive relationship with the planet’s remote and “wild” places. He is a a visual artist, film maker and photographer living in Canada’s subarctic. The theme of his work is the land and our relationship with it as an industrial culture. His practice has led to explorations ranging from the manufactured spaces at the heart of our urban centres, to the wilderness of remote environments on six continents. Work with his clients and partners range from photography for Canadian Geographic magazine, HD and full dome video production for Yukon and Yukon First Nations at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, to photography and film production for the National Film Board of Canada.

Michael Brophy's paintings make reference to and attempt to manipulate authoritative nineteenth century pictorial traditions to create critical perspectives on the contemporary social landscape of the Northwest. Brophy explores the transformation of the landscape from an idealized vision of the landscape to a contemporary examination of the relationship between landscape and power in the Pacific Northwest.  He graduated from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and has shown extensively in the Northwest, notably in one-person and group exhibitions in Seattle and Portland. Brophy was the subject of a mid-career survey, The Romantic Vision of Michael Brophy, organized by Tacoma Art Museum in 2005.

Judith Currelly’s paintings are inspired by the stark vastness of Northern British Columbia and the Yukon and speak about finding a relationship with Nature and the environment. It forms the basis for simplified, stylized landscapes and wildlife forms painted in a beautifully restrained palette. In her paintings, Currelly employs various tactile techniques such as scraping, scoring, bevelling and staining the surface of the wood to imply geological forms. In her printmaking, she incorporates woodblock and lino printing techniques into the paintings. Etching and scraping reflect the permanence of mark making, as they do with petroglyphs, pictographs or fossils.

Owen Kydd's photographic work investigates the pictorial intersections of photography, video and film. Kydd’s focus is urban encroachment on rural spaces in the form of strip malls, gas stations, drag-strips and fast food outlets.

Vanessa Renwick’s video work reflects an interest in place, relationships between bodies and landscapes, and borders. Working in experimental and poetic documentary forms, Renwick produces films, videos and installations that explore the possibility of hope in contemporary society.

Artists Talks

Thursday, January 24 @ 6pm: Vicky Marshall and Pat Service Friday, January 25 @ 12 noon: Michael Brophy and Vanessa Renwick Thursday, January 31 @ 7pm Brian Brett

For more information, details can be found on the Reach Gallery website at: