This piece is my response to the devastation of boreal forest, wetlands, rivers and a way of life for people in Canada’s Northern territories due to the tar sands industry.

This piece is a site specific installation created for a solo show at Winsor Gallery, Vancouver, Canada 2010. It was my intention in this piece to speak to deeper issues underlying my painting practice and to give voice to the inner conflict I experienced in the wake of the Gulf oil spill as well as emerging concerns over practices of oil extraction in my own country.

Heart Wide Open | Colour, Gesture, and Buddhist Influence: Gabryel Harrison’s Poems for the Earth
by Alex M.F. Quicho

Gabryel Harrison works in an old fishery building on the banks of the Fraser River, tucked away in the bucolic landscape of aged houses and stables that make up Vancouver’s Southlands. The decision to work out of the city, but still within arms’ reach of it, is one that seems to possess those artists whose spiritual connection to their materials calls for quietude in their outer life: Jackson Pollock’s chilly outpost in the Hamptons comes to mind. Here, she stocks the woodstove, stretches and sands her canvases, and tends to the bees that huddle in the small apiary at her doorstep. Time passes more slowly. The surrounding landscape, in its wintertime browns and greens, surfaces in Harrison’s work: the slow glint of the moving river, the thatch of tall wetland grasses, the eagle-feathers that occasionally lie scattered like small treasures.

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