Flora and Fauna

Robert Bordeau’s Flower – 1965


O Rose thou art sick. 

The invisible worm, 
That flies in the night 
In the howling storm: 
Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.
~ William Blake


The Surrey Art Gallery’s Flora and Fauna: 400 Years of Artists Inspired by Nature exhibit opened tonight, with an informal tour led by Ann Thomas, the Curator of Photography for the National Gallery of Canada. This exhibition was organized by the National Gallery and is on loan at the Surrey Gallery until December 14, 2014.

I am so glad that we attended this opening and joined Ann Thomas’ talk. Her introduction to the exhibit and the pieces showcased in it, gave me added an extra level of insight that enable me to have a greater understanding and appreciation of the work displayed.

The exhibit explores how the complexities, vulnerabilities and beauty of nature have inspired and influenced artists’ works for hundreds of years.

From an ancient print of an Indian ruler directing the planting of a garden to Aganetha Dyck’s scanned image of bees in a honeycomb, to James Griffiths’ Pansies, to Rosamund W. Purcell’s  Honeycreepers, a Azo dye print (lifochrome), the pieces are compelling, beautiful and illustrated the myriad ways that nature is an integral part of our very being. One of my favourite pieces is a print by Shary Boyle (Untitled – The Porcelain Fantasy Series, 2005)

The layout of the show was very well done – the works were beautifully hung and displayed. With over 70 works of art from national and international artists all connected to flora and fauna, you won’t want to miss it.