Forest on Fire
In 2014 I drew trees in the green forest of the Haliburton Highlands. The following summer I watched footage of megafires burning in Saskatchewan (2015). I examined images of the fires and carved them into wood.
An urge to visit fire locations followed: first a road trip to Arizona, Nevada and California (2016) and what felt like a pilgrimage to Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories (2017). Everywhere I walked alongside and into burnt-out tracts, looking up, spending time, taking photos. Parson’s Lake Road, a 35 k gravel road over flat terrain in Wood Buffalo National Park (straddling the Northwest Territories and Northern Alberta) is a particularly memorable location. Nearly dead trees stand tall towering over apparent emptiness and new growth. These tree portraits, carved with a Dremel into ink-washed wood, are as true to the still-standing, individual trees as I was able to convey, in their honour. Photo Credit for Tree Portraits: Judy Ruzylo
Postcards from Fort McMurray
These are small drawings of the land in and around the City of Fort McMurray a year after ‘the Beast’, the great fire of 2016. I call them this because I was told that tourists rarely visit the city. It seemed fitting to create postcards featuring what the fire had left behind.