Wetland art display preserves history

David Dorrington:
David Dorrington: 'If someone brings in something about Finn Slough and if we have room, we’ll hang it. There isn’t any other show in Vancouver that runs like that.'
— image credit: Jacqueline Langen

An open art exhibition encourages artists to share their work about one of Richmond’s most characteristic heritage sites.

Art About Finn Slough is an annual, not-for-profit exhibition hosted by local artists at the Richmond Cultural Centre and encourages anyone who has created art about Finn Slough to share it with the community.

“There’s no jury and no judgment about the work. If someone brings in something about Finn Slough and if we have room, we’ll hang it. There isn’t any other show in Vancouver that runs like that,” said exhibition coordinator, David Dorrington.

The exhibition is on display in the centre’s performance hall until Saturday. The artwork varied as artists used a variety of mediums.

Paintings, photographs, sculptures and even a music composition were on display portraying the unique wetland culture of the slough.

The historic fishing village is a hot spot for artists, but other than this event Dorrington expressed the rarity of having the art on display collectively.

“Painters come down to the slough, but they don’t necessarily see what other painters are doing, or other photographers. This is a venue where they can celebrate that place,” said Dorrington.

Dorrington is one of the several exhibition co-ordinators and has contributed to the Finn Slough art exhibitions since they began in 2000.

“The reason that this show was created is because a former director of the art gallery used to live in Finn Slough. We used to talk about how many painters and photographers used to come down to the slough,” he said.

Finn Slough is one of the last tidal communities along the West Coast. Residents want to preserve what remains and protect the area from becoming industrialized.

According to the Finn Slough Heritage & Wetland Society, Sisu is a Finnish term that roughly translates into having strength of will and determination.

Dorrington is an artist who has lived in Finn Slough for nearly 25 years and feels that the exhibition is an initiative towards environmental protection, “It’s a historical perspective, but it’s in one related to the environment.”

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