CANMORE - Wild Journeys, a new exhibition at artsPlace in Canmore, explores the intricate relationships with wild landscapes and environments around us from two different perspectives.
Artists Laurelle Birks and Rachel Davies have put their collaboratively crafted work on display until Thursday (Dec. 21), which delves into their unique perspective as well as their relationship with nature and the environment around them.
“If we are willing to slow down enough and listen to how deeply our bodies are aligned with the rhythms of the earth and moon,” said Birks.
Birks’s art was inspired by a traditional ceremony gifted to her by a Mexican grandmother. The ceremony explored the act of going inwards during her menstrual cycle to learn how to listen to her body and the earth.
The local artist spent 13 months, 13 menstrual cycles, retreating into nature for four days at a time. Each retreat inspired an art piece in her exhibition.
“Each one of these pictures explores and documents my experiences," Birks said. "The different fears and limiting beliefs I worked through. The deep connection that I began to explore with my intuition, inner wisdom, and the earth."
The transcendent experience inspired growth and a shift in perspective in Birks.
“This experience really taught me that the wisdom of us lies within us if we are willing to slow down enough to listen,” said Birks.
Davies uses her painting and art to reflect on experiences in the wilderness. Davies relationship with the outdoors started from the perspective of instructor and educator.
“I worked in the outdoor industry for a long time, and I guess just being in outdoor spaces, painting and art was a way to reflect and process the experiences that I was having,” she said.
Davies turned to art after a bad ski injury.
“I tore my ACL skiing, which is a pretty classic story around here. I turned to art as a way to still connect with the outdoors,” said Davies.
Davies passion for the outdoors is easily seen and very contagious which aligns perfectly with her hope to bring a sense of joy and curiosity regarding the outdoors to the public that view her exhibition.
“I try and make my illustrations really fun and interesting to kind of bring that bit of joy and silliness back to the outdoor community,” said Davies.
Davies has recently started creating more commissioned work for different companies and organizations in the Bow Valley.
“This has been a really nice way to connect with different groups, artists, and companies. I would love to continue doing that,” said Davies.
Wild Journeys is a collection of two unique perspectives on the wilderness and earth. Its introspective, inspiring, explorative, and contains great stories behind each piece. The exhibition will surely encourage viewers to slow down, pay attention to the beauty around them and the lessons it can teach.