D'Arcy Wilson schools you on zoos

Centre for Art Tapes 2014/15 Local Artist-In-Residence

Joining previous CFAT artist-in-residence alumni Krista Davis, Will Robinson, Khanhthan Tran, Melanie Colosimo, Eryn Foster, Sym Corrigan and Léola Leblanc is D'Arcy Wilson, a Halifax-based interdisciplinary artist (and big nature fan). From CFAT's release about the program, here's a description of what Wilson intends to produce during her residency. Includes: Little known facts about zoos!

Through a pseudo-documentary—part video, part performance—crafted from her research and peppered with imagination, Wilson proposes to resurrect the little-known historical fact that Halifax was home to the first North American zoo, located beside what is now the Armdale Rotary. Here, the local naturalist, Andrew Downs, established zoological gardens in 1847, which grew to be one hundred acres in size, housing regional and exotic species of animals in sprawling wooded enclosures. There is but one known photographic record of the grounds – an image of a large glass aviary; but there are written accounts of a cottage adorned with many antlers, an elegant fountain frequented by a seal, and dense old growth forest.

Combining interviews, field recordings, performance, animation, and a model constructed out of delicate gouache drawings into one video project, Wilson will highlight the problematic connection between people and wildlife, and the transformation of the animal into spectacle—indicative of Western culture’s isolation from the natural world.

For more about D'Arcy Wilson, read here.