on “Decay”

Old-growth stumps, reminders of 120 years of logging, haunt the landscape of Bowen Island, my home on Canada’s west coast. I am obsessed with these remains, and the beautiful chaos of rotting debris that clusters around them. In the margins between developments these overlooked mounds slowly decay as erosion, water, insect, gravity, animal, and human activity wear down and soften the complex shapes. The accumulation of windfall trees and branches adds to the disarray, even as new growth emerges from the mulch. The result is an abstract tangle of decomposing and regenerating material that sometimes blocks our path so that walking here at dusk can feel like trespassing.

As my work leads into this dark territory it becomes a metaphor for psychological space, an interior yet unknown landscape that reflects our less rational thoughts and fears. As this terrain is unequal parts battlefield, graveyard, and nursery, the images naturally give rise to memories of our own conflicts, losses, and hopes as we become lost in this dark space.


I wish to acknowledge that the land we call Bowen Island is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples.


Using Format