It’s rare that my art has a direct connection to current events. However, when the Burns Bog in Delta BC caught fire again this past Sunday, I thought about a series of paintings that were done a decade ago when the same bog was on fire.
Ardbeg 3, Ardbeg 4 by Lori Sokoluk
(each 48"x18", acrylic on canvas, $1700, $2900/pair, available at time of posting)
The idea for this series of paintings started with a postcard created from a box of a favourite, peaty, scotch whiskey. The peat bog was burning at the time, and the ideas merged in my mind:
Ardbeg, mythic hero, sucking on the teats of the earth. Mother Earth granting him the ultimate nourtishment. Full of deep secrets that surface in dark springs and permeate the black earth.
Near here, a vast peat bog burns beneath a seemingly solid surface. One could fall through into another world of darkness and fire, where none of the rules from ‘above’ apply. This series reflects deep hidden powers that can propel us to unimagined things and maps attempts at navigating through these forces.
Suzanne Northcott, a fantastic interdisciplinary artist based here in the lower mainland and one of my favourite people, did research and paintings inspired by the bog. I love her series statement about this work, which begins “Bog. I love the word, like God, only earthy.” Check out more of her work here.
Bog Grass Fall by Suzanne Northcott
Links to articles about the bog fire:
Burns Bog on fire (Monday July 4, 2016)
Social media photos of the fire (Monday July 4, 2016)
Bog restoration efforts aid fire control (Tuesday July 5, 2016)