It’s with mixed feelings that Oak Bay artist Ilka Bauer accepted the juried prize for an art show underway in Vancouver.
Bauer’s piece, Leaking Time, is premised on the lack of progress despite 25 years of annual climate change meetings and that, despite the pandemic, humanity needs to equally focus on its efforts to mitigate climate change.
Regardless, Bauer is pleased that the Federation Gallery’s jury for the “Crisis” exhibition, which calls for a green recovery after COVID, chose her work of the more than 60 odd pieces submitted.
“The main point the piece is trying to make is that for the last 25 years, leaders from around the world meet to talk about climate change at the [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] but we’re still not on top of the problem,” Bauer said. “And the time we have to stay under 1.5-degree Celsius, or two degrees max, is getting shorter despite 25 years of talks.”
The talks started in Berlin in 1995 and took place most recently in Madrid in 2019. And yet, throughout this period, greenhouse gas emissions and global temperatures have continued to rise, Bauer noted.
Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist's "Crisis" exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt Image)
After her solo show at the Gage Gallery last year Bauer took a break from art, and when she returned she added acrylic paint to her medium of choice, sketching.
The artist sees a clock in Leaking Time while there is also strong symbolism in the fading maple leaf. It’s a shrinking, fading leaf, fall coloured to symbolize the end of the life cycle.
“Time is running away,” Bauer said.
Bauer’s piece is one of two by Oak Bay artists in the Federation Gallery exhibition along with Gabriela Hirt.
Hirt submitted a mixed-media piece that incorporates plastic bits found on Oak Bay beaches.
“Plastic found on beaches in Oak Bay tangibly show how our wasteful lifestyle endangers the ocean life we depend upon,” Hirt noted. “The liveliness of the whales, seemingly unfazed with the fall-out, reminds us how resilient nature is. We still can make changes, slow consumption and global warming, and our natural environment will quickly recover.”
Hirt will donate 50 per cent of the proceeds to the David Suzuki Foundation should her piece sell in the Federation of Canadian Artists show, which runs until Oct. 18 at the Federation Gallery, 1241 Cartwright St. in Vancouver.