Community Papers

Texada campaign anniversary marked with sales of remaining nude calendars

A few months ago Andrea Collins uncovered some boxes in her barn. Inside she found 750 calendars remaining from the Texada logging struggle on Salt Spring.

“As it turns out, this year is the 10th anniversary of the land purchase, so I decided to bring them out,” said Collins.

The 2001 calendar project was launched to protect 4,500 acres of land, at the time slated to be logged by the Texada Corporation. As reported in last week’s Driftwood, as a result of a concerted effort by island activists, 2,500 acres of the company’s 4,500 south-end acreage was saved in and around Burgoyne Bay, including an ecological reserve and watershed lands around Maxwell Lake.

Entitled Salt Spring Women Preserve & Protect, the calendar features nude photos of island women. Some of the women who were brave enough to “bare all” include Denise Bachmann, Susan Cogan, Briony Penn, Jane Squier, Cate McEwen, Linda Quiring, Anne Humphries and Collins herself.

The original idea for the project came from Ruth Tarasoff, but, notes a press release, “Reflective of the remarkable unification of diverse elements of the community who came together to fight the logging, the calendar was very much a group effort.”

Island women are portrayed in evocative settings that reveal much more than their bodies.

“The strength and vulnerability in the portraits invites a deeper understanding of our place as an integral part of mother nature. The images express the power of the sacred feminine, whether it’s a group of the Three Graces playing music at the beach, or a blockade of a logging truck by a group of brazen, bold female warriors.”

Because it took such an unusual approach, the calendar project attracted media attention to the campaign to save the Texada lands in publications as far-flung as Harper’s Magazine, the Globe & Mail and the Vancouver Sun.

“While the context has changed, photographer Howard Fry’s images remain potent and moving. The ‘calendar girls’ are our mothers and our sisters. The decades may have laced hair with silver. Some women have moved on, others have passed away. That baby in the belly of a young, pregnant Tali Hammel is now a 10-year-old boy running through the forest paths in Burgoyne Bay. Maybe he has been told that this was all once ‘almost gone,’ but he knows these trees, bluffs and beaches only as an integral and beloved part of his sweet home.”

Until they run out, the last 750 calendars will be sold at Starfish Gallery, Salt Spring Books and at Salt Spring Conservancy events. Calendars cost $20 apiece with 100 per cent of sales to be donated to the Salt Spring Conservancy.

Starfish Gallery and Studio will also be exhibiting the original calendar photographs by Howard Fry in August.








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