The Artist’s Garden Project: Pieces of What

May 2015 to April 2016

The third in our new series of commissioned artist’s gardens.

Vernon-based artists Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante and her son Maxwell Sterry teamed up to create this year’s installation in our Artist’s Garden Project.

This year’s artist’s garden installation is about the environment and our threatened planet. The edges of the courtyard have self-irrigating containers with fruits and vegetables growing. In the centre of the space are three colunms, formed visually by bits of trash attached to vertical lengths of fishing line. Viewers may wonder whether the columns make reference to the classical past, or are meant to look like ruins from a dystopian future, perhaps a post-apocalyptic one.

The artist’s garden commissions are each a year in duration, from one spring planting season to the next.

Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante is an Okanagan-based artist who came to Canada from Argentina. She works mainly in ceramics and textiles. Maxwell Sterry graduated from high school in Vernon in 2014. He is working towards entering university to study architecture. The artists and the Kelowna Art Gallery would like to thank all those people who collected and contributed their clean trash to the project.


Opening Reception
Friday, July 3, 7 to 9 pm
The artists will give a talk at 7 pm.
This is a free event, open to members and guests by invitation.



Double Vision

By Liz Wylie

Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.

– Le Corbusier

Vernon-based artist and gallerist Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante chose to work collaboratively with her adult son, Maxwell Sterry, in creating the Kelowna Art Gallery’s third artist’s garden project in our Rotary Courtyard space, Pieces of What. It is fitting for both of them that they decided to focus on architectural elements, as both of them are passionate about architecture, and Sanchez de Bustamante has worked for several years on commissions for site-specific creations and installations of ceramics in architectural spaces.

Their installation will centre on three columns, looking like architectural fragments, delineated by vertical rows of fishing line. The columns, then, will be largely immaterial, and viewers will see them only as the fishing line is caught in the sunshine. They will function as luminescent signifiers – whether of past civilizations, or future ruined ones, we do not know. The artists will attach crafted pieces of clean trash to the fishing line so that patterns of shapes and colours will visually spin in the air in the centre of the courtyard.

At the edges of the space the artists plan to install self-irrigating containers planted with vegetables and fruits that will be bearing, and which people will be welcome to harvest at the end of the growing season.

Both Sanchez de Bustamante and Sterry are used to thinking three-dimensionally and figuring out how to make things work in built spaces. They have carefully considered the scale and placement of the elements of the overall work for the Gallery’s Rotary Courtyard space. The three columns, for example, grow taller and wider as they progress to the rear of the courtyard, so the front column(s) will not block the view of the rear ones. Visitors will be invited to sit and contemplate the installation, with custom seating designed and provided by the artists.

Perhaps some viewers may think of science fiction, and movies such as Blade Runner, for instance, where artfully decrepit buildings were juxtaposed with massive structures that were accessed by air-borne vehicles. Rather than a necessarily dystopian point of view, however, visitors may interpret the work in a more positive light, with the hopefulness of the fruit and vegetable plants growing around the edges of the space. Also, the beauty the two artists intend to create using mainly materials repurposed from friends’ recycling bins (the materials will actually also be recycled at the end of the installation) could also send a hopeful message.

Maybe the artists want to encourage visitors to consider the plight of our threatened planet, and therefore the lives of all creatures alive on it, ourselves included. To this end, their luminescent columns could themselves function as beacons of hope.




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