The future is imagined in new exhibit

If the world keeps warming, how will life evolve? Glass artist Larissa Blokhuis, who helped teach a summer art program at Red Deer College, imagined a fanciful answer to that question, as shown in her exhibit Awaken, at the Harris-Warke Gallery, upstairs at Sunworks on Ross Street.

If the world keeps warming, how will life evolve?

Glass artist Larissa Blokhuis, who helped teach a summer art program at Red Deer College, imagined a fanciful answer to that question, as shown in her exhibit Awaken, at the Harris-Warke Gallery, upstairs at Sunworks on Ross Street.

Blokhuis created her own versions of new life forms that might exist in some future time, if global warming causes some unique adaptations in various species.

Her glass, ceramic and fibre art creations will cause viewers to wonder: Are they supposed to be animal, vegetable or mineral? And that’s exactly what the 29-year-old was after.

“I went with shapes that might look like a plant or an animal,” said Blokhuis.

For instance, the glass-works trio, Cactus, can resemble either the type of cacti that turn up in unlikely mountainous habitats or gelatinous sea cucumbers.

A stranger-looking creature is depicted in the mushroom/anemone-like piece Cosy. Blokhuis was inspired to create this imagined life form by the shapes of everyday fungi. She sees it having a symbiotic relationship with another unseen creature living in its tentacles.

The artist, who divides her time between Vancouver, where her glass-blowing co-op exists, and Calgary, where her family resides, imagined something completely outside the known reality for her multi-media artwork Swelter.

A small shrub or maybe underwater being, made of ceramic, polymer and wool fibre, is seen existing inside a bubble of glass. Blokhuis said she imagined a moist, drippy specimen that could survive in a very hot climate — but she again encourages debate about whether it’s a plant or animal.

“Part of it is the joy of discovery, (where people say) ‘it might be this,’ and then, after looking looking at it longer,they saying ‘This isn’t what it is…’”

Blokhuis admitted her favourite comment was from a viewer who suggested one of her glass works looks like a creature that exists today “but is not quite right.”

The artist, who has also exhibited in Edmonton and Vancouver, wants to encourage more thought more about global warming, and what the planet might look like if the climate trend isn’t reversed.

“I don’t like direct messages, because they turn people off… but I think we need to make an active choice about whether we want to be part of the future,” she said.

Blokhuis believes the Earth will adapt to whatever changes come. The question is, will people be able to?

“We need to change our behavior for there to be hope for our environment,” added Blokhuis, who studied glass-blowing at the Alberta College of Art and Design and has shown and sold her works in Alberta and B.C.

The Awaken exhibit will continue until March 26.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

March will be dramatically warmer through the prairies

Bharat Masrani, CEO, TD Bank Group speaks at the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

Shares in metals and mining companies have rebounded sharply

A worker carrying a disinfectant sprayer walks past a WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft, after cleaning another plane at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
WestJet to lay off undisclosed number of pilots amid labour negotiations

Layoff notices to go out ahead of the expiration of a memorandum of agreement

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

Canada has ordered 24 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend Sunday Service, in Abbotsford, B.C., Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. A legal advocacy group challenging British Columbia’s COVID-19 restrictions on worship services and public protests is scheduled to be in court today arguing for the church and others that COVID-19 restrictions violate their charter rights. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Churches in court to challenge British Columbia’s COVID-19 health orders

Calgary-based organization says it represents over a dozen individuals and faith communities in the province

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson makes a shot against Team Alberta as second Shannon Birchard, right, and lead Briane Meilleur sweep in the semi-final at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Kerri Einarson wins second straight Canadian women’s curling championship

Einarson and her teammates celebrated Sunday in the silence in an empty arena

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the Golden Globes on Feb. 28, 2021. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
With loved ones and pets, Globes winners embrace cozier show

Nicole Kidman and musician-husband Keith Urban got glammed up to sit on their couch

The cast of “Schitt’s Creek” pose for a photo after winning the Award for Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto on March 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Schitt’s Creek nabs two Golden Globes for its final season

Catherine O’Hara named best television actress in a musical or comedy

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Most Read