Coexistence | Terra Simieritsch

Image: "Sciurus vulgaris" by Terra Simieritsch

"Coexistence" by AUArts student Terra Simieritsch will challenge the viewer to reflect upon their own stereotypes and prejudices around common wildlife species that humans often come into conflict with. People often categorize certain species of wildlife as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and how they interact with those species often stems from that initial judgment. It is interesting how these same visceral responses about certain species can be present even when interacting with art pieces of these specific birds and animals.

Each of the mixed-media pieces in the exhibit carry with them a wild creature that has an anthropogenic element woven into it. Maps, ribbons, flyers, words and common causes of conflict are present if you examine the layers of each piece. These art pieces represent the complexity of people and wild creatures cohabitating, intermingling aspects of their lives for better or for worse.

Through this exhibit the artist encourages the viewer to really examine what preconceived notions they have around certain species (be they positive or negative) and dig deeper into where those notions came from. By looking into why we have formed certain stereotypes and taking the time to see a given species in a more profound light, can we start to change how we feel and interact with that species? Can we find a way to coexist with wildlife in a way that allows them to retain the freedom to be wild? What does it mean to coexist?

View the exhibition online at the Leighton Art Centre.

Friday, March 12, 2021 to Saturday, April 17, 2021