Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Strathcona County Art Gallery
Last year, environmental protests against the Keystone XL pipeline shook the White House and sent ripples through the presidential election campaign. This ongoing debate put Alberta—a once quiet Canadian province—into the media limelight. Two Alberta artists, Lyndal Osborne and Sherri Chaba, recently mounted an exhibition that addressed a range of environmental issues, including genetic diversity and loss of farmland, while focusing on the tar sands controversy and oil industry discards: tailings ponds. Both artists came to their environmental subject matter through personal experience. Osborne grew up in Australia, where she walked on the beach every day collecting seeds and pebbles. She was, in her words, “a nature girl.” After arriving in Canada and buying some acreage, she grew alarmed about the numerical labels marking agricultural fields visible from her living room window. The numbers indicated genetically modified canola that, as her research showed, didn’t respond to herbicides. More recently, sterile swaths of cookie-cutter houses, marching like invading armies, have surrounded her home. …see the entire review in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.