Trip to Gwaii Haanas inspires artwork

  • Jun. 29, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Three artists bonded in a recent trip to Gwaii Haanas that was “beyond imagination.” Betsy Cardell of Queen Charlotte, one of three chosen to participate in the first-ever Artists in Gwaii Haanas program, said the chance to travel into the Haida heritage site and park reserve was incredible. She, along with Tow Hill Road-based painter Thomas Arnatt and Montreal-based mixed-media artist Veronique La Perriere M., spent seven days on the Section Cove with captain Debby Gardiner of Parks Canada. Ms Cardell had travelled into the area 30 years ago before Gwaii Haanas existed, but says this time was different. “I was with fellow artists. And we were down there to do art.” They went to stunning places like SGang Gwaay, Cape St. James, Tanu, Hotsprings Island, Huxley Island, Burnaby Narrows and more. They witnessed all the magic the islands have to offer, said Ms Cardell, including mist, fog over the hills, waterfalls, bogs and trees that became more than just trees. The artists worked en plein air, sketching and painting, making sound recordings and gathering ideas for a show that will take place at the Haida Gwaii Museum in November. Each artist works in a different medium, said Ms Cardell. Mr. Arnatt is a painter, Ms La Perriere M. worked on very detailed drawings and more and Ms Cardell is a fibre artist.