Dispelling Harper's Carbon Legacy - A "Carbon Manifest"

TORONTO, May 6, 2016 /CNW/ - For almost a decade, government scientists were silenced and global warming was mythology. The Harper legacy was to pretend, through a host of government spokespersons, that there was no scientific consensus on global warming. While regime change has happened in Ottawa, and we may now be experiencing more "sunny days", the most effective manner of dispelling global warming denials is to capture the moment, to capture the evolution, to paint the picture.

Bezpala Brown Gallery has explored the north in Canada and elsewhere through past exhibitions, focusing on the uniqueness of art, culture, food and dress in northern climes. But its newest exhibition, entitled Carbon Manifest, part of the 20 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, focuses squarely on our carbon footprint and its affect on the northern landscape. Photographer J R Bernstein dispels the notion that our environment is a constant. From glacial reduction to open water, his images show the reality wrought by carbon pollution and the serious environmental challenge we all face. In giant carbon-printed photographs created in the Arctic, Carbon Manifest investigates perpetual metamorphoses and inevitable changes of our planet. This is a call to action for which the Harper naysayers can have no rebuttal.

Carbon Manifest consists of carbon-printed, black and white landscape photographs created while sailing the waters around the Svalbard archipelago in the high Arctic, during Bernstein's international artist residency in 2014. Svalbard's storied history – from early oil production as a major European whaling port, through coal mining, to climate change research in the present day – provides a fertile backdrop for the exhibit's themes. Carbon Manifest draws upon the archipelago's close ties to carbon pollution and the many ways it affects our entire planet.

These photographs are moments in time. The new government's policies will be subject to the same test as is Harper's. When these sites are revisited in the future, its evolution will be once again recorded and our actions will be measured against facts.

The exhibit's title also references the uncommon and superior method of printing that Bernstein has employed, using pure carbon pigments on rag paper to create enduring archival prints that may well outlast the landscape itself. Each precious print is framed in an artist-made flame-blackened hardwood frame, completing the piece and further emphasizing the carbon component and importance of the environmental foundation of the work.

Media are invited to preview the exhibition on Saturday, May 7th, from 11 am to 4:30 pm at the Gallery. The public is invited to attend the opening reception on Sunday, May 8th, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bezpala Brown Gallery (formerly on Church Street) is conveniently located at 21 Yorkville Avenue, second floor (Rest Nest Float Club). The exhibition runs until June 1st.

SOURCE Bezpala Brown Gallery

Image with caption: "Longyearbreen (2014) by J R Bernstein (© 2014 courtesy of Bezpala Brown Gallery) (CNW Group/Bezpala Brown Gallery)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160506_C5929_PHOTO_EN_684221.jpg

For further information: Mila Bezpala-Brown, Gallery Director, (416) 907-6875, mobile 905-399-9389, mila@bezpalabrown.com. Bezpala Brown Gallery, 21 Yorkville Avenue, Second Floor, Toronto, ON M4W 1O1, www.bezpalabrowngallery.com

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