Gordon Harper

Tree Island

February 7 - March 5, 2019


'Tree island is a place in the imagination, where two worlds meet. It is a place where we encounter the wilderness, on the fringes of the built world. It is a place where our conflicting inner selves meet: the person who is part of nature by birth, and the person who is forever separated from it.


For years my work has dealt with familiar subjects from my life in the centre of a city. In Tree Island, I turn to the edges of the wild world. Of course, my forest is a highly mediated one. It exists in television shows and cinema, and in fleeting incursions into the world beyond the city. Gentle pathways lead us up steep mountains. Infrared strobe lights on trail cameras bring two worlds together for a moment. Recreational vehicles crawl along winding forest paths, bringing domesticity deep into the woods.


Tree island is a flickering recollection of encounters with a universe both familiar and mysterious, where we look into an almost forgotten wilderness and it looks back at us.' Gordon Harper 2018


Gordon Harper was born and raised in Medicine Hat, and begun his formal studies in the Art and Design Program at Medicine Hat College in 1989.  He earned a B.F.A. from the University of Calgary in 1993 and a M.F.A. from the University of Alberta in 1997.  He has lived and painted in Edmonton since 1993.  His work has been displayed at commercial and public galleries, including the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre and the Alberta Legislature.