“Imagined Urban Gardens” is a student exhibition tackling the intersection of art and one of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change. The art show is a collection of pieces that represent hope in a deteriorating world and environmentalism, all contributing to the greater theme of living in a greener future. The various artists involved in this show submitted pieces concerning their perception of the future environment and urban life.
“The theme of the show is urban gardens, it is exploring all the possibilities of what the future might look like in terms of urban nature and growing urban cities,” said Darrel Neufeld, a representational painter and Brock student. “The show is designed to probe questions, like what does the future look like in terms of how we incorporate the natural environment into largely an urban world?”
Attendees will mull over these kinds of questions during the exhibition, as it brings to light the harsh reality of our time, but also an optimistic look unto the future.
Viewers will observe a variety of curated pieces all concerned with the future of the environment. Neufeld says that presenting shows like this is part of an artist’s duty.
“I think that is what artists do — project experiences and things that they find interesting while exploring issues,” said Neufeld.
The artists involved in this show project their predictions for the future, their perspective on environmentalism and much more.
There is a generational aspect of an art exhibition about our seemingly doomed world. Neufeld says as a mature student, he has a certain outlook compared to his contemporaries.
“It is a very pessimistic view of the future when you consider the implications and consequences of the kind of climate change we are experiencing. I fear for the coming generations because of what the world might look like,” said Neufeld. “I am not particularly hopeful for our dear planet unless something dramatic can take place and I am not sure that the leaders of the world, and the human population in general, have it in us to save ourselves. It is a very depressing picture if what the scientists are telling us is true.”
Despite the grim-looking future, artists made this global issue into a meaningful, moving exhibition.
Artists seem to have found solace in producing art about such dire topics even with the weight of climate change holding us down. Neufeld achieves this through painting with rich symbolism.
“[In] my painting of the musicians […] they are just having a good time, they are seemingly blind to the coming of a natural disaster. The chickens sense it but are oblivious to the fox. The fox is symbolic of the future; that we are all going to be devoured by climate change,” said Neufeld.
Viewers can see Neufeld’s piece, along with many others at “Imagined Urban Gardens” from Thursday, January 30, 11:00 a.m. to Sunday, March 1 at 5:00 p.m. at Rodman Hall Art Centre.