From Harm to Harmony Exhibition
Healing the Land, Healing Ourselves
A group exhibition by Conservation Council of New Brunswick supporters who look at the climate emergency from a relational perspective to the natural world
Inspiring Action. Nurturing Artists. Building Community
From Harm to Harmony: Healing the Land, Healing Ourselves is a group exhibition featuring works by artists across New Brunswick with varied representation in terms of cultural backgrounds, geographic locations, accessibility needs, and artistic disciplines. With a unified desire to address the environmental emergency, their work aims to change the story of the nature and climate crises from one of despair, worry and loss to one of hope, love and action.
This third exhibition presented by CCNB results from a remote artist residency led by BC-based community engaged artists Juliana Bedoya and Laura Barron, in collaboration with artists across New Brunswick. For the past six months these artists have met regularly online with the two project facilitators, harnessing each artist’s mediums to individually and collectively address climate change. Through a variety of media and techniques (including songwriting, poetry, carving, embroidery, weaving, digital art, painting, rug hooking, video production, wool felting, and more), their work offers varying perspectives on the natural world and the challenges that our society faces today.
Regularly meeting online as a group, participants co-created a virtual space where they felt comfortable sharing their concerns and their own eco-anxiety, with a focus on taking action to help diminish their worries about the environment. This intention to transform eco-anxiety into action provides a sense of agency that invites us to participate in our own healing. Healing the land as we heal ourselves. Our exhibition is an expression of the power of action over worry.
The works presented in this exhibition are also a reflection of the interconnectedness and interdependence of humans, the natural world and its different ecological systems. Healing the Land, Healing Ourselves moves from the extractivist mindset that thinks of nature as a resource, to one that is relational, restoring kinship with the land and people. This collective theme emerged as participants discussed and developed ideas, shared skills and collaborated while reflecting upon ways to inspire a relational approach to ecological restoration that would foster positive social and environmental change.
These artists understand that in order to see change we need to speak to people who have different and sometimes opposing values, nurturing biocentric and inter-relational values first. Starting from the notion that change begins with small actions at an individual level, the group also hopes to foster a desire to evolve towards shifts that can happen in our families, our communities, and finally, our institutions.
Juliana Bedoya is a BC-based environmental artist who has facilitated a variety of community engaged art projects bringing awareness to environmental issues through education and social practice. As part of Something Collective she developed different projects including We Are Here and Our Footprint at various community centres in Vancouver where participants grew living moss graffiti murals as part of a community mapping project.
With Through the Eye of the Needle she guided an international exploration with two schools in West Vancouver and Colombia on the social and environmental impact of fast fashion. Along with community art projects she has worked as a curator and Gallery Manager at ArtStarts in Schools in Vancouver, and served as the Community Arts Supervisor at the Ferry Building, a municipal gallery in West Vancouver.
She is currently living on Vancouver Island where she supports individuals and community groups to establish their own cultural significance through skill sharing, including all stages of ethically harvesting and processing raw plant materials for art-making, eco-activism and local ecological restoration. She has also worked in the non-profit and public sectors as a curator and arts administrator developing interactive exhibitions, public art installations, and arts programming that support community participation.
Laura Barron is a Vancouver-based musician, writer, facilitator and community artist, gratefully living and working on ancestral, unceded Coast Salish Territory. Her 30-year career as a flutist has brought her from the Yukon to New Zealand, including solo appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and several performances at Carnegie Hall. With a doctorate from McGill, she served for 10 years on the faculties of the Universities of OR, WI & N. AZ, mentoring emerging artists, as she continues to do with ICASC’s Futures:Forward initiative, exploring songwriting, poetry and other interdisciplinary collaborations in the service of climate justice activism.
She has always strived for relevance in her work, and harnesses her experience as a performer and teacher in her role as the Founder / Executive Director of Instruments of Change.
This Vancouver-based non-profit leads numerous community arts initiatives that engage with incarcerated women in Canada, at-risk youth in India, educators in Zambia, and many other diverse groups. It is in this capacity that she has been able to have her greatest reach and impact, designing experiences that empower underserved and often marginalized individuals to become instruments of change in their own lives as they find their own creative voices.
Laura is also a frequent blogger, most recently about artistic responses to the pandemic, globally, in These Adagio Days. And she brings all of her professional experiences together in her new writing project, Key Changes, a novel based on the healing power of music.
Meet the artists behind our Community Art project
Browse our full list of participating artists who have graciously volunteered to take part in our upcoming exhibition at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick Exhibit Room (23 Dineen Drive, Fredericton, NB) from April 22 to May 1, 2022.
Other individuals and groups participating in this exhibit include:
- Amina KHair contributed words on behalf of herself and her students from northern Syria at the Ali Slooby school
- The Multicultural Association of Fredericton (MCAF) and the youth in their Saturday Newcomer Group
- Molly Roy, Volunteer, and students from CRIM 4133 International and
Comparative Criminal Justice, STU
- Maya Al Khlief, Lamp Installation
- Word Projects
- INUP Collective