Exhibition: Remnants: A Visual Survey of Human Progress Opens Today

Connecting Human Progression and Reduction of Nature Through Art

Human progression comes at the cost to nature. Through drawing and collage, UBC Botanical Garden’s Artist in Residence, Dana Cromie explores his reaction to this happening in Remnants: A Visual Survey of Human Progress. This new visual art exhibition opens today at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

Remnants: A Visual Survey of Human Progress features a series of portraits that reflects Cromie’s reaction to the ongoing reduction by human activity of natural habitat. Built using the small pieces of the contemporary viewing pane, these collage quilts pay homage to traditional home economics and to the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th century. The vertical format reflects the traditional portrait proportions of influential individuals. The repeated use of small pieces relates to how we build our impression of the world without experiencing it.

Twenty-six original drawings have been letterpress printed, hand cut into 1,500 pieces and glued into five portraits. The sources for the nature drawings are mostly archival, some from the Internet, some from the cabinets of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and a few from nature. What is always missing is context. The design of the man-made elements in the style of traditional wallpaper is Cromie’s response to the appropriation of ‘Green’ currently utilized to promote everything from gasoline to urban towers. Humans are absent in the portraits because as individuals we do not see our relationship to the changes in the environment.

Dana Cromie is a mature emerging artist who has spent his life balancing the practice of art and gardening. He has travelled extensively on botanical trips, and photographed and wrote ‘In My Garden’ for Vancouver Lifestyle Magazine.

Remnants: A Visual Survey of Human Progress runs until April 20, 2014 at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.