Nanaimo Sturgeon Exhibition

Ghost Fish V by Margaret Haydon

Ghost Fish V by Margaret Haydon

The Nanaimo Art Gallery at 900 Fifth Street, Building 330, is presenting an exhibition of the works of ceramic artist, Margaret Haydon, Vancouver Island University’s first visiting artist in residence. Using the VIU’s International Centre for Sturgeon Studies as inspiration, Haydon has turned her interest in sturgeon into the unique ceramic art being featured during the run of this exhibit.

Haydon states: “My recent body of work depicts iconic images of an ancient and odd-looking fish, the sturgeon. Stylistically the work is muscular, blending abstract and representative elements to convey both the beauty and the strangeness of this animal. I also include elements that suggest specific aspects of the life, history, and current environmental predicament of the sturgeon. Sturgeon are important creatures historically, genetically, socially, and now environmentally. There are twenty-six species left, and many of them are threatened because of dams, pollution and over-fishing. This is a fish so perfectly designed that it has existed in the same form on this earth for two hundred million years. They have become for me, a symbol of change and transformation. Sturgeon are an indicator species. They speak to the natural worlds’ diminishing capacity to survive in the face of human impact.”

A portion of the rare sturgeon art collection of Gordon Edmondson, a director of the International Sturgeon Research Centre will also be part of this unique presentation. For over 200 million years, sturgeon have been swimming the waters of the world. They outlived the dinosaurs, yet in less than one sturgeon’s lifetime, humans have brought this prehistoric fish to the brink of extinction. Almost all species and populations worldwide are in trouble. The Sturgeon Exhibition runs from July 23 to August 21, 2010, with an opening reception on Friday, July 23, 2010, from 5 to 7 pm. For more information call 250-740-6350.