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Red Deer painter and photographer portray the beauty of vanishing nature

Shadows/Footprints is on until April 19 at the Marjorie Wood Gallery in the KWNC
Trust, a photo by Travis Boschman, can be seen in the Shadows/Footprints exhibit along with paintings by andrea dillingham-lacoursiere, at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer. (Contributed image).

The vanishing wilderness and the hope for a more sustainable world are behind an art exhibit at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre.

Photographer Travis Boschman and painter andrea dillingham-lacoursiere have partnered to create the Shadows/Footprints exhibit in the Marjorie Wood Gallery. Boschman’s photos of wild, mountainous landscapes and turbulent Prairie skies are interpreted with abstracted expressionistic acrylic paintings by dillingham-lacoursiere.

The friends describe their longing for unspoiled nature and sense of growing frustration with this material world in their artist statements.

“My deep reverence for Alberta’s Eastern Slopes and all of her wildness and beauty was re-awakened a few years back, when the threat of coal mining came for many areas which I’ve grown up exploring,” writes Boschman. “It gave me an insatiable urge to capture the essence of this sacred land.”

Even hours from civilization, Boschman still feels “the impacts of humanity’s insatiable urge to consume.”

From valleys cut by oil and gas access roads to clear-cut forests and meadows trampled by free range cattle, the human imprint seems inescapable.

Boschman’s Trust photo in Treaty 7/ Red Deer County East shows a dramatically lit sky during a Prairie lightening storm.

A vibrantly painted counterpart, by dillingham-lacoursiere, is titled the past is for memories, for wisdom, not goals. Air movements are depicted as waves of colour.

Dillingham-lacoursiere contrasts “marveling at the wingspan of the osprey or tasting the …purest spring water” with the frustration of dealing with societal prejudice, climate change denial and the pursuit of “record-breaking quarterly profits” at the expense of jobs.

Nature is a necessary balm for dillingham-lacoursiere, who feels Boschman’s images are what “my heart desperately needs to see.”

The joint exhibit continues to April 19.