“The Winds That Will Be Howling” interrogates our relationship with nature and the environment. The exhibition’s title is lifted from William Wordsworth’s “The World Is Too Much with Us” where our dominating presence as supposed guardians and keepers of the natural world is challenged and deemed deleterious. Hence, the works of Meghan Hildebrand, Geremy Samala, Imam Santoso, and Nasser Lubay are prompts that demand us to reflect on this power we have.
Hildebrand’s paintings illustrate Canadian landscapes into ‘story-maps’ that stir the imagination. In her works, nature, unlike humans, is limitless and endless; every turn opens to another path where one’s mind can navigate. Hildebrand initiates symmetry on these compositions; certain areas in the paintings are mirrors or portals that lead us to another part of a forest, mountain, or ridge.
On the other hand, Samala uses geometric guides in producing works that address structural concepts in time and space as elements in his paintings. The images produced are symbolic of our relationship with nature in the post internet era, thus, controlling our perception of the environment as part of our routine through photos, designs, and architecture.
In Samala’s works, these considerations are placed and yet, life forms are rendered in their actual state —a flower remains a flower and a mountain range continues to lie silently in the horizon. Santoso’s intricate works are defined by the playful surrealist illustrations of the environment. Their narratives have hints of folk tales and myths dwindling in the contemporary. Survival as the dominating aspect in his works, Santoso constructs a fictional realm drawn from reality. Meanwhile, Lubay’s works negotiate themes of cosmic germination and positive ingenuity. The artist attempts to build fragments of the cosmos, which somehow refers to the constant immensity of the universe.
In his poem, Wordsworth writes, “The winds that will be howling at all hours / And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers /For this, for everything, we are out of tune.” The images found in this ensemble, therefore, respond to Wordsworth’s cry: there will be more howling within these fields.
curated by Gwen Bautista