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Hot Art: Prepare to be Awed by Nature

Still from "The Sugarcane Labyrinth," a short film about the Agricultural Land Art piece by Anne Katrine Senstad. In collaboration with Triple K and M Farms, Theriot, Louisiana. © Anne Katrine Senstad.

Contemporary art collides with nature in Preternatural, an original exhibition coming to the Canadian Museum of Nature as well as two other venues (Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts and Patrick Mikhail Gallery) this winter. Curator Dr. Celina Jeffrey wanted to create a “new cultural cartography” of Ottawa with this multi-venue exhibit, putting contemporary art in new places to appeal to a wider audience. And what a thrill it is to see.

Preternatural is all about the unknown as the artists, both local and international, explore their own particular version of nature. Ottawa native Andrew Wright describes his piece — a fusion of photography and sculpture inspired by his trips to the Arctic — as “a place of real confusion, where everything is profoundly disoriented and you don’t know which way is up.” German-born Mariele Neudecker, now of the U.K., uses chemical glass spheres and images of lighthouses to portray a mysterious, yet sublime, landscape. And Gatineau native Marie-Jeanne Musiol has created cosmic-like images using electromagnetic photography to catch leaves from Gatineau Park in a magnetic field.

Anne Katrine Senstad of Norway and Sarah Walko from the U.S. are also featured artists at the Canadian Museum of Nature venue, where the exhibit opens Dec. 9 and runs until
Feb. 12. The Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts’ phase of the show, which runs Dec. 10 to
Feb. 17, features artists Adrian Göllner of Ottawa, Avantika Bawa from the U.S./India, and Senstad again, each for a few days at a time. The phase at Patrick Mikhail Gallery, featuring a three-channel video installation by Shin Il Kim from South Korea, will run Jan. 4 to Feb. 7.

Preternatural will give you the chance to reflect upon and marvel at the beauty, mystery, and unknown qualities of nature as interpreted by many unique and talented artists. The individual pieces come together to create a commentary on the extraordinary elements that surround us, sure to resonate with you long after you walk out. This exhibition is one not to miss.

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