Mother Earth has made its way to Peace Gallery North, a book curated by author and photographer Sharon Krushel. With an opening reception on July 15, an art exhibit celebrating the book is up until the end of the month.
At its core, the book is a collaboration, with additional photos provided by friends – biologists, tree planting university students, local First Nations, and fellow artists living in the Peace region, says Krushel, who moved to Peace River from Camrose in 1982 with her husband.
“One of the wonderful things about collaborating with so many people is the different styles of photography,” she says. “The first half of the book is mostly my photos and the second half is mostly the collaboration and stories.”
In April, the book and exhibit was in Dawson Creek. A music video is being planned by Krushel, licensing the song Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf, utilizing her skills as a musician and professional vocal coach. Two other wildlife music videos are planned, inspired by the Celtic song Come by the Hills, and Flower Duet, a piece from the French opera Lakmé.
“There’s 83 species of wildflowers pictured in the book, so we’re going create the ‘Wildflower Duet’,” says Krushel.
She also plans to visit Beaver First Nation Elder Mary Francis in Child Lake to expand on the indigenous names for the flora and fauna found across the Peace and in the pages of the book. Reprints are planned, with updates and additions.
“Collaboration has been my favourite part about working on this. I would to like go and see if we can get more Beaver words in the second printing,” says Krushel. “And I’d like see more Cree names for the different species.”
A Cree language app was used to provide one half of the indigenous names, while Francis and her community provided the Dunne-za names.
“I’ve been asked to photograph the Peace River Powwow and different events for the aboriginal community. The English people were not the first people to name these species,” says Krushel.
Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News, Local Journalism Initiative.
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Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alaska Highway News