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Posted January 10, 2018

Victoria artist to showcase Port Renfrew old growth forests in IMAX project

CHEK News, January 9, 2018

Victoria artist to showcase Port Renfrew old growth forests in IMAX project
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Internationally acclaimed artist Kelly Richardson
Photo by Colin Davidson

WATCH: Vancouver Island’s endangered old-growth forests in Port Renfrew have captured the attention of an internationally acclaimed artist. The giant ancient trees will be featured in an upcoming digital art installation that will be projected on IMAX screens across the country.

They're known as Canada's tall trees the gorgeous giants part of the old growth forest in Port Renfrew are a magnificent sight to see.

"Trees that are as tall as a downtown skyscraper and as wide as your living room upwards of a thousand years old," said TJ Watt from the Ancient Forest Alliance.

And they never fail to capture the attention of those lucky enough to witnesses their presence.

So, it was no surprise they caught the attention of internationally acclaimed artist Kelly Richardson, who took a job with the University of Victoria, after living in the UK for 14 years to be closer to the ancient giants.

Richardson is known for creating hyper-real digital films of rich and complex landscapes using CGI, animation and sound.

"It’s not just the sheer size but it’s actually how you feel in front of these ancient, ancient trees. I couldn't believe those ancient stands still exist at all anywhere in the world let alone here,” said Richardson.

Infatuated with their beauty she hopes to bring the old giants to life on the IMAX screens for her latest work to celebrate 50 years since its invention.

"Without giving away too much you will be immersed in an old growth forest which has been shifted to an area of science fiction," said Richardson.

But for her, it's about more than just a visual experience.

“I want viewers to feel a potential future, what it’s like to live in that future and through that perspective view ourselves in our current situation with some measure of hindsight and clarity about what we are doing and where we are headed and why?" said Richardson.

Because while clearly magnificent to look at and a giant in size, the old growth trees are endangered.

"Old growth logging actually continues today on a very large scale. If you were to go to Port Renfrew this very week you will see old growth trees falling and hitting the ground,” said Watt.
The project will be shown on IMAX screens across the country premiering in 2019 and with a platform of that size, the goal is to bring attention to the issue of their preservation.

“ My hope is that one day we won't have to protect them we can finally have then saved,” said Watt.

Watch the original CHEK News story here.


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