Artists selected to help protect coast

  • Jun. 13, 2012 7:00 a.m.

By Ayanna Rhindress–Ben Davidson and Sheila Karrow, both of Queen Charlotte, have been selected by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation as two of fifty BC artists who are going to use their art to convey the beauty of B.C.’s coast threatened by Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline. Some tour boat operators and water taxis have donated travel time, and some lodges have donated accommodation so these artists can explore some of the most remote coastal locations.For two weeks starting at the end of the month, the artists are going to try and capture the rich biodiversity of the land, and why it is worth being protected. They will be working on the proposed tanker routes to bring attention to how the coast will be affected if Enbridge starts shipping tar sands oil through narrow channels of the mainland, and across the dangerously unpredictable Hecate Strait. “I’m not sure what I’m doing to do yet,” said Mr. Davidson, “the idea is to go on the trip and be inspired by it.”The art created is going to be donated by the artists to become part of a travelling show to raise awareness about the coast. Copies of their work will be combined with prose and poetry in a book entitled Canada’s Raincoast at Risk: Art for an Oil-Free Coast, scheduled for publication in the fall.Artist Mark Hobson helped coordinate a similar project in 1989 to bring attention to the Carmanah Valley on Vancouver Island. This year’s project is being coordinated and supported by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation which has been protecting coastal ecosystems in B.C. for 15 years.United in the conclusion that an oil spill from one of the Enbridge supertankers will cause unimaginable reactions along the shorelines as well as the ocean, these artists have agreed to try and use their talent to help prevent it from happening.”For me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Ms Karrow, “to use my art for the common good.”