Crow’s Eye View & Blackberry Picking
Public installation for the City of Vancouver Art Wrap Program, 2017
Collaborators: Roy Cloutier, Pengfei Du, Jennifer Leung, Nicole Sylvia, Daichi Yamashita, Lőrinc Vass
After Nature is an ongoing series of drawn investigations on the ever-evolving environments of Metro Vancouver. Looking beyond the conventional view that treats nature as something abstract and inherently separate from culture, After Nature instead relishes in the many fascinating, delightful, and perplexing hybrid conditions of the city—drawing out the interactions and continuities between culture and nature, cityscape and landscape, designed and emergent.
Crow’s Eye View re-presents a typical residential neighbourhood in Vancouver from the vantage point of the northwestern crow (Corvus caurinus). As highly intelligent and social animals, the crow’s occupation of urban space is closely intertwined with human activity. The familiar houses, backyards, and laneways of the city serve as the site for the crow’s various everyday activities—foraging for food, raising offspring, roosting, socializing, and daily migrations between different neighbourhoods. Crow’s Eye View thus offers an opportunity to view and consider the city through a broader, more-than-human lens.
Blackberry Picking portrays a Himalayan blackberry bush (Rubus armeniacus) with people and creatures enjoying its fruit during berry season. Bursting forth in neglected urban spaces, the blackberry is a vivacious and tenacious invasive species in Vancouver. Despite this disruptive origin, it forms a key part of Vancouver’s vernacular urban landscape—acting as a cherished source of food and habitat. The space of the bush striates both vertically (a distinct line, formed at the limits of human reach) and horizontally (its thorns repelling pickers but sheltering myriad smaller creatures).