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Woodland Escapes

Photo of Woodland Escapes

Forests cover a third of continental land masses, are home to 80% of terrestrial biodiversity and provide a livelihood for 1.6 billion humans…

Presented as part of the International Year of Forests, this outdoor exhibition of giant photos is above all a tribute to the beauty of forests and an invitation to immerse oneself in these rich and valuable habitats.

Those who spend time in the forest know it can be a haven of peace or the launching pad to great adventures. The forest has remained a mysterious, almost magical, transformative space to those who give in to its charms.

In this day and age, people aren’t so close with the forest. Far from the city, out of sight is out of mind. And yet, for a great swath of our history, the forest played a central role in the lives of all Canadians.

For thousands of years, the forest dominated the landscapes of North America. To Native Peoples, it offered a multitude of natural resources, including the materials to build homes and make tools.

In the eyes of the early settlers, though, the forest was a fearsome place and an obstacle to progress. Little by little, the forest receded, felled trees giving way to farmland, and then to houses, towns and cities.

With the advent of mechanization, forests became a veritable treasure trove, providing a seemingly endless supply of wood governed only by the imperatives of industrialization and urbanization. But at what cost? The loss of natural habitats and wildlife, and the degradation of the environment and of air quality. The forest is much more than an economic resource.

The photos presented in Woodland Escapes are the work of artists from various places, including Pierre Dunnigan from Quebec, which presents 26 of his shots. Other photographers who have collaborated in the exhibition are: Christoph Achenbach, Dan Bannister, Ben Crank, Elena Fantini, R. Tyler Gross, Hanna Halkouskaya, Adam Hester, Sean Russell, Stephen Schauer and Don Smith.