By Marian Penner Bancroft
March 28 to September 7, 2014
Off-site at Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line
For this new commission, a sequence of photographs of winter trees are grouped in mirrored formations around two of the station’s glass walls. High-contrast translucent prints cast patterns and shadows when the sun shines through, infiltrating the station below. Penner Bancroft took these images along the Cambie Heritage Boulevard where the Canada Line forms a subterranean echo of the road. This green space, only fifty years old in 1993 when deemed a heritage site by the City of Vancouver, is a highly cultivated strip of land with nearly 450 trees. The earliest planting was the unlikely pairing of Golden Elms, originating in Germany, with indigenous Sequoias. Boulevard focuses on the elms, a staple of the English picturesque garden. Placing emphasis on these trees and dislocating them from the actual location via their image, Penner Bancroft suggests them as emblematic of colonial transit to and across Canada, the work underlining a narrative of immigration and displacement alluding to recent histories of how land is claimed.
Marian Penner Bancroft has exhibited across North America and Europe for more than three decades. Since the late sixties she has primarily worked with photography but by incorporating text, sound, sculpture and video, she draws connections between image-making, narrative, social history and personal memory. She received the Mayor’s Award in 2009; had a major solo retrospective at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2012 and was awarded the prestigious Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts in 2012.