ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature lights up national parks

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Participative artwork experience by artist Sarah Fuller and Moment Factory lights up Banff National Park and Rouge Urban National Park. 

BANFF, AB, August 10, 2017 – This fall, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity celebrates the histories that have shaped Canada with a participative artwork experience by contemporary visual artist, Sarah Fuller, and Montréal multimedia studio, Moment Factory. Commissioned by Banff Centre, ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature takes place in two locations. First, on Treaty 7 Territory in Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from October 5-7, 2017. Following that, on the traditional territories of 10 first nations in Rouge National Urban Park, Canada’s first urban national park in the Greater Toronto Area, from October 19-21, 2017. Free ticket registration for both locations is now available online at banffcentre.ca/illuminations.

From deep time to the present, ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature  shines a spotlight on the landscape, people, and heritage of Canada by weaving together the unseen narratives of the human and the natural in both Banff National Park and Rouge National Urban Park – from their geological formation, ecology and biodiversity, to Indigenous and colonial settler history, as well as conservation.

“This project is truly exceptional; not only in its geographic scale as it spans two national parks, but also in its scope. Watching a dedicated team of artists, storytellers, and creators come together from across the country has been inspirational,” says Janice Price, President and CEO, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. “As Canada’s home for artistic training and creation, Banff Centre is proud to celebrate Canada 150 with a work that honours the past of the land while imagining a bold and inclusive future.”

Through storytelling, projection, and technology, ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature re-imagines nature without boundaries and the future of wild spaces in a fully engaged experience that uncovers the unseen narratives of each site.

In small groups, visitors are equipped with a portable toolkit that leads them on a journey in each park at night. The journey culminates in a multimedia campfire experience that brings the smaller groups together as a community. 

“There are many different perspectives, narratives, and histories in each place,” says contemporary visual artist Sarah Fuller, who works with photography and site-specific installation pieces. “To try and bring that together in a meaningful and respectful way is a humbling challenge.”

The creative process surrounding ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature was highly collaborative, with Fuller and Moment Factory – and a dedicated team of artist researchers including Jessie Short, Zoë Lepiano, and Simon M. Benedict – meeting in Banff and Rouge several times over the course of one year to discuss the project. They met with Elders and community leaders from both Lake Minnewanka on Treaty 7 Territory and the Rouge National Urban Park site to discuss responsibility to land, memory, conservation, and future hopes for land use on each site.

“I was trying to not privilege one history, but to look at as many as I possibly could,” says artist researcher Jessie Short, who is of Métis heritage.

Special care was taken to create an ecologically sensitive project that encourages people to reconnect with nature in a low impact and thoughtful way.

"Collaborating with artist Sarah Fuller on a project that highlights nature and allows visitors to interact with it while renewing their connection with these grand wild spaces is a tremendous opportunity for us." says Gabriel Pontbriand, Creative Director, Moment Factory.

Once the project has closed, an archive of voices, sources, and documents will be available in each community for public access. The final written material for the project will be available in English, French, and in discussion with communities, a predominate Indigenous language of each site.

ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature is generously funded by the Government of Canada, Mackie Family Creation Endowment, and Gay Mitchell and Archie McIntosh Creation Endowment Fund, with support from Parks Canada, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, and Town of Banff.

“2017 has been an exceptional year, and there’s much more to come! We are delighted to support this impressive Banff Centre initiative, which gives Canadians an opportunity to discover the stories that have shaped our country, through the fusion of art and technological innovation. Take advantage of Canada 150 events and celebrations to join together as part of your community and to strengthen the bonds that unite us all, while enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings!" exclaimed the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

To learn more about the development of the project, check out Banff Centre’s interview with Fuller and Pontbriand in our new biannual magazine, InStudio. For tickets to ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature, register online at banffcentre.ca/illuminations.

About Rouge National Urban Park: Rouge National Urban Park is located on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishnabee peoples, most recently the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois confederacy (Haudenosaunee) and the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus — artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. banffcentre.ca

Situated on Treaty 7 territory, Banff Centre acknowledges the past, present, and future generations of Stoney Nakoda, Blackfoot, and Tsuut’ina Nations who help us steward this sacred and protected land, as well as honour and celebrate this place. Our home has a long history as a sacred gathering place for trade, sharing, visions, ceremony, and celebration. That tradition continues today as creative individuals in all artistic disciplines meet here to realize their creative potential.

About the artists:

Sarah Fuller is a Canadian artist who works across the mediums of photography, video, and installation. Her work is about multiple levels of perception, reality, and narrative. Recent projects explore landscape and culture and how they are projected onto place. Sarah has created a series of works that integrate large format photography and projections in site-specific locations. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Ottawa. Sarah has been an artist in residence at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Yukon; Fondazione Antonio Ratti, Italy; and, the Association of Visual Artists (SIM), Iceland. She recently travelled to Australia to undertake independent research supported by a Canada Council for the Arts International Self-Directed residency grant.

Recent exhibitions include See Attached, a collaboration with Dianne Bos, at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery; Future Station: 2015 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Alberta; My Banff at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies; and The Homecoming at the ODD gallery, Dawson YT.

Her work is in the collections of the Canada Council for the Arts Art Bank, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Yukon Permanent Art Collection, Walter Phillips Gallery, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Cenovus Energy. sarahfullerphotography.ca

Moment Factory is a multimedia studio with a full range of production expertise under one roof. Our team combines specializations in video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences. Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 400 unique shows and destinations such as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Madonna's Rebel Heart Tour, the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the permanent illumination of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and Mosaica, a projection-mapped show on the façade of Ottawa's Parliament Hill. momentfactory.com