Fraser Valley artist Deb Silver will be featured in an online artist talk this month.
The talk is hosted by The Reach Gallery Museum and the University of the Fraser Valley. The timing aligns with her solo exhibition at The Reach, titled Feet Deep in Wet Earth and Watery Pools.
Silver seeks to combine and harmonize Coast Salish cultural teachings and scientific enquiry as they relate to plant knowledge, ecology, and analog photography. Central to her practice is her deep respect for the more-than-human world. Silver is committed to establishing and maintaining respectful relationships with her plant subjects, always introducing and explaining herself as she approaches with the intention to photograph.
For her most recent body of work, from which the exhibition takes its name, Silver specifically sought to link plants, root systems, waterways, and lichen together in a single photo series documenting intimate landscapes in Pelhó’lhxw territory (eastern Chilliwack).
Using a Mamiya RB67 medium format film camera, the artist captures in great detail the cracks, bumps, and indents that comprise the unique beauty of each plant represented. For these photographs, Silver draws on traditional Stó:lō practices of using lichen as a base for coloured dyes, and combines this with knowledge gleaned from horticultural research and a scientific method of trial and error. The results are intimate, evocative portraits of forests and undergrowth in her home territory of S’ólh Téméxw (the Fraser Valley).
This project is presented alongside a reconfigured version of Silver’s multi-image photographic installation Their Words Echo Through My Core (2018), produced for her BFA program at UFV. This is the first opportunity for these two projects to be displayed together, with the earlier project providing insight into Silver’s ongoing interest and exploration into the relationship between photography and land and plant knowledge.
Feet Deep in Wet Earth and Watery Pools is one of the selected exhibitions for the 2022 Capture Photography Festival.
The artist talk is open to everyone, on March 15 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and registration is required via Eventbrite under ‘Artist Talk with Deb Silver.’
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