Set against the picturesque backdrop of Lafarge Lake—a reclaimed sand and gravel quarry— the Art Gallery at Evergreen presented work by artists Diyan Achjadi, Sean Alward, Tsēmā Igharas, Kevin Michael Murphy and Holly Schmidt. These artists engage with ideas inspired by geology, resource extraction, Indigenous knowledges and deep time. The exhibition took its title, Mantle, from both the inner layer of rock that forms the earth’s planetary body and the responsibility passed down from one person to another. As a verb, “mantle” also describes the covering of something—like a quarry, perhaps—that lies beneath the visible surface. Through artistic research, these artists explore the transformation of organic materials and draw learning from knowledge holders (be they people, land or other forces). The resulting artworks featured in this exhibition, which took the form of sculpture, photography, video, drawing and painting, drew attention to the interconnectedness of humankind and geology.
Using drawing, printmaking and animation, Diyan Achjadi constructs fictional tableaus to explore the impact of historical interactions on contemporary sociopolitical contexts.
Sean Alward is a Vancouver-based artist whose paintings explore the intersection of materials, consciousness and history.
Tsēmā Igharas (Tahltan First Nation) is an interdisciplinary artist who uses Potlatch methodology to create artwork influenced by her studies in visual culture and her time in the mountains.
Kevin Michael Murphy is a former Coquitlamite and multidisciplinary artist who often works in combination with places and organisms, tracing the intersections of social and natural systems.
Holly Schmidt is an artist, curator and educator who moves across disciplinary boundaries to explore human relations with the natural world.
All Images: Installation view of Mantle, exhibition at the Art Gallery at Evergreen, 2019. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.