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A project in conjunction with the Field Notes Collective and the Alberta Rural Development Network

In 2008 a group of scie ntists and artists recognizing the overlapping interests of their disciplin es began meeting under the moniker of the Field Notes Collective.  Intent t o stimulate discussion\, actions and ideas surrounding the complex relation ships that exist between people and their local environment\, a symposium w as proposed – Ecotone. Designed as three stages\, the project woul d see artists\, scientists\, local ranchers and others from the community m eet to explore issues ranging from engagement with the land to responsible food production.  The first segment of the project offered lectures\, video presentations\, a 100km dinner and a walking tour of one of Canada’s oldes t agricultural research stations.  The second segment invited participating artists to spend time at one of the ranches in the area to live\, work and develop ideas for the third segment: an exhibition based on the experience s and dialogues that surfaced throughout the previous stages of the project . 

Ecotone has been generated from distinctly local investigations and responses to ecological issues.  It looks to the experie nces of those artists encountering firsthand an environment in many ways un familiar\, despite its proximity and our complicity in shaping its form\, f unction\, and consequently\, it’s social\, economic\, political and environ mental structures.  In fact\, this condition is succinctly reflected in the title of the project: ‘ecotone’ being defined as that liminal space where two communities meet and integrate - a grey zone where ecologies are in ten sion and as a result\, more biologically rich and diverse.

The works in the exhibition employ a range of material\, medium and form as di verse as the issues and ideas that these artists approach.   Lyndal Osborne pairs a selection of prints with specimens of rough fescue shifting from t he characteristically long roots of a healthy plant to those starved and st unted from practices of overgrazing.  Mary Kavanagh considers the inter-spe cies dialectic of abattoir workers and animal subjects while examining the mythological scope of meat production.  Dagmar Dahle’s delicately expressiv e gouache drawings of invasive plant species in Lethbridge underscore the r eality that these seemingly benign flora have dramatic and often irreversib le impacts on our local environment. From urban encroachment to resource ex traction\, the multiplicity of responses offered by the many other artists included in this exhibition speak to the enormous complexities at play in o ur local environment.  In light of this\, one cannot help but consider the bewildering reality of these same problems magnified and multiplied on a gl obal platform. And yet\, as projects like Ecotone are increasingly cultivated in communities around the world - sharing stories\, perspective s\, ideas and actions – there is a renewed sense of optimism and the promis e of a future more accountable than our past.

DTEND:20130414 DTSTAMP:20140917T030946 DTSTART:20130209 GEO:49.69597;-112.8370982 LOCATION:Southern Alberta Art Gallery\,601 Third Avenue South \nLethbridge\ , Alberta T1J 0H4 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Ecotone\, David Blatherwick\, Dagmar Dahle\, Jason de Haan\, Miruna Dragan\, Leanne Elias\, Mandy Espezel\, Denton Fredrickson\, John Freeman\ , M.N. Hutchinson\, Mary Kavanagh\, Kris Lindskoog\, Glen MacKinnon\, Troy Nickle\, Lyndal Osborne\, Peter von Tiesenhausen UID:255720 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130209T220000 DTSTAMP:20140917T030946 DTSTART:20130209T200000 GEO:49.69597;-112.8370982 LOCATION:Southern Alberta Art Gallery\,601 Third Avenue South \nLethbridge\ , Alberta T1J 0H4 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Ecotone\, David Blatherwick\, Dagmar Dahle\, Jason de Haan\, Miruna Dragan\, Leanne Elias\, Mandy Espezel\, Denton Fredrickson\, John Freeman\ , M.N. Hutchinson\, Mary Kavanagh\, Kris Lindskoog\, Glen MacKinnon\, Troy Nickle\, Lyndal Osborne\, Peter von Tiesenhausen UID:255721 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR