Gazing the Hothouse by Natasha Faye Jensen

2021 RISE Emerging Artist Program

Virtual Tour Coming Soon!

Oct. 14 - Nov. 13

Virtual Tour Coming Soon!

The Arts should be accessible for everyone. Learn More

About the Exhibition - In Natasha’s Own Words

My practice is to not only understand the scientific properties of plants but to understand the human and global stories connected to the plant. In modern society, we have a vast amount of information and knowledge at our fingertips but rarely do we know the plants around us. During my Masters, I discovered the term plant blindness, coined by botanist James Wandersee and Elizabeth Schusster in 1998, which refers to the “cognitive bias in which we struggle to recognize and appreciate the value and diversity of flora over zoological forms especially in prestige species.”

In my art practice, I explore the artist’s role in collecting and recording flora while uncovering the stories about biodiversity, global trade, and extinction. My short films “1850” and “The Love of Plants” examine how the current classification of plants, and their taxonomy as we know it, is inherently linked to the acquisition of botanical collections. Artists travel with scientists collecting evidence of new-found flora while recording specimens on their travels and their returns.

Plants have been traded, sold and moved across the globe, their travels mimicking the migration of people throughout time. Unfortunately, with this movement and the colonizing of land, whole ecosystems have been disrupted. This research informed the development of the work for “Gazing the Hothouse” as a way to explore ways to minimize the harm to ecosystems while assisting the public to develop an appreciation for the plants that inhabit them.

About the Artist

Natasha Faye Jensen is a Canadian and the United Kingdom interdisciplinary artist from Moh’kins’tsis/Calgary, Treaty 7 territory in the Southern Alberta region, Canada. Jensen completed her BFA at Alberta University of the Arts (formerly Alberta College of Art and Design) in 2013 and recently completed their MA in Contemporary Art Practice at the Edinburgh College of Art. Jensen has exhibited in Canada, the USA, UK and Finland.

Artist Statement

“In my current research and studio practice, I am examining the garden as an active site of power. Through historical archives and the history of classification, we can unearth the colonial and ecological issues found within, to draw attention to an ideological struggle that is taking place in these seemingly passive spaces. The garden is both a natural and unnatural space when we consider the amount of human intervention and cultivation that takes place within.

I am working through these ideas by exploring a variety of mediums such as collage, photography, and film, all of which represent these themes in their unique way. For example, cutting and collaging is an act of violence that removes the subject from its context; an implied trauma on the paper that is irreversible. This exploration will reveal these garden spaces for more than their aesthetic beauty, examining their history as a catalyst to talk about social and political change towards climate crisis, decolonization and gender equality.

Animation is a great source of inspiration in my films as it is an accumulation of many images, much like an archive, but with the added illusion of movement and transformation. I intend to experiment with traditional animation in my upcoming films while I conduct my research into decolonizing plant archives and collections.”

Generously supported by

RISE Emerging Artist Program

RISE is an annual exhibition and mentorship program developed by artsPlace to offer Alberta artists the opportunity to educate, exhibit, sell, and promote their artistic practice within the Bow Valley. The goal of RISE is to cultivate Alberta’s emerging artists by pairing an exhibition opportunity with mentorship by a local art professional. Participating artists build experience in exhibition design, installation and professional practice.

2021 call for RISE applications is now closed. Look out for the next call later this year.

You May Also Like

See all