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PRECIPICE: Artists are vital in climate and habitat loss discussions

A year ago we hatched a plan to create a real-world art exhibit and community space where we could mourn biodiversity loss in BC, honour animals and plants trying to survive in an extinction crisis and recognize the possibility for hope at a moment where we can glimpse positive shifts ahead. 

At Precipice: Changing the Course of the Extinction Crisis in BC we looked forward to what can be in BC – more Indigenous-led conservation; 30% of the province protected by 2030 and a resilient future. At Precipice we celebrated these opportunities, embraced hope and were filled with inspiration for the next leg of the journey to ensure decision-makers turn those promises into action.

We’ve shared some of the artists’ experiences here and we hope you’ll find hope and inspiration from them and their exquisite artwork as well as in some of the joyful moments of Precipice.

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Precipice Opening Night-web-12

Sarah Ronald

As an artist I was really happy to be invited to participate in Precipice because it aligned perfectly with my interest in connecting with the world beyond the gallery. It was an opportunity to present my work where it had the potential to have a positive impact in the broader community. Precipice was also a great opportunity to connect with fellow wildlife concerned artists and art collectors, as well as a variety of individuals working in the fields of conservation, science and private sectors.

Along with talking about my piece (and our problematic concept of wildlife relocation to address habitat loss and poor human behaviour around coexistence with wildlife), I spoke about the importance of art and storytelling in this current time on the planet. Artists are really important to include in the climate and habitat loss discussions because they can present data in inspiring and unique ways, and those pieces can further engage and create massive ripple effects in generating solutions.

Through this exhibition I was also able to listen and learn. For instance after hearing CPAWS staff in media interviews, I was inspired to take a closer look at the UN report about biodiversity loss and excellerating extinction rates – which will no doubt become influence for future artwork, which will bring further awareness and acknowledgment to the broader community.

For my particular piece in this exhibition, The Transference of Landsharks, the message is for each of us to personally and continually check how our behaviours impact the natural world in daily life. Even where our current culture sets us up for complacency, we need to choose not to be complacent – we need to choose to stay engaged and to make positive changes for the rest of our lives.  

If one loses sight of things, just consider that we are all living on clear cuts that were once massive healthy ecosystems: for this reason alone we have a responsibility to provide meaningful compassionate action towards all that is more-than-human.

You can check out Sarah’s work at or on Instagram @sarahronaldartist.

Grace Lee

Being part of this group exhibit at Precipice was such a meaningful experience as it showed the passion and dedication to environmental preservation that many of us are fiercely protective of.

Many conversations revolved around setting an intention with the Daruma dolls to make change and taking that first step and promise to further the work needed to protect our environment & wildlife.

I hope that the Darumas set a daily reminder that every day matters.

It’s not only about setting a goal to take action but committing to it and following through for the sake of our land, waters and wildlife.

You can Check out Grace’s work at


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Precipice 1 (short)

Cherry Archer

Participating in Precipice was thoroughly rewarding. The curator had a clear vision. She assembled an engaging and informative group of speakers and workshops. I had the opportunity to present alongside talented artists. Each body of work complimented the next. I felt supported and had an excellent time presenting my workshop.-

The best way to keep informed on her work is to follow ger Instagram @cherry.archer

My work can also be found at:

Clare Wilkening

It was great to meet and make a connection with the other artists and the team that put together the show.  During the opening, watching people interact with the Orca Tiles, take the time to absorb the piece, read all the text tiles and look closely at the individual orcas in their family groups, was really moving.  I could tell from watching and speaking to people that they came away from the work with an emotional resonance and deeper knowledge of the way the Southern Residents live and what can be done to help prevent their extinction.  With the Fraser River Sturgeon, people had a big reaction to how striking the work is, and that draws them in to learn more about this mysterious species who is our neighbour.  Sturgeon in the Fraser have fairly robust population numbers, but most of the population is old; there are not enough juveniles to sustain the future numbers of this long-lived species.  It’s unknown why there are so few juveniles, but part of the reason may be the stress of the catch-and-release fishery- stress can disrupt spawning biological processes and behaviours.  Fishers have already voluntarily stopped fishing in certain areas during spawning season, but maybe more needs to be done.  I had a sturgeon facts card next to the sculpture, and I equally enjoyed watching people read that as I did watching people absorb the Orca Tiles.  
Some great conversations I had included talking with MP Jenny Kwan about ceramics and about these species, as well as being interviewed by Sheryl McKay for CBC: North by Northwest. 
A major issue that the Southern Resident Orca currently face is the proposed expansion of the Deltaport/Roberts Bank terminal.  This construction would greatly increase freighter traffic through the Salish Sea, which brings with it noise pollution (making it harder for the orca to locate prey), risk of ship strikes, and additional pollution from the vessels themselves and risk of oil spills.  Construction would also destroy large areas of eelgrass in the underwater shore along the bank and the estuary- this is crucial habitat for migrating juvenile salmon, the orca’s primary food source.  You can write to your MP, to Ministers Guilbeault (Environment), Alghabra (Transport), Lebouthillier (Fisheries & Oceans), Freeland (Deputy Prime Minister), and Trudeau (PM), and let them you do not support this port expansion and why.  You can also visit and to learn more. 
You can find Clare’s work at her open studio Oct. 19-21 in Roberts Creek for the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl. She will be vending her ocean-themed pottery at Make It Vancouver at the PNE December 7-10th, and on or on Instagram @clarewilkening.ceramics.
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Precipice Opening Night-web-16
Precipice 2 (short)

Adea Chung

It was an honour to be part of Precipice and among such inspiring and passionate artists. I generally make small jewellery and home wares, having the opportunity to do something on a larger scale for the show was such a treat.
Adea’s work can be found at: The Billy Would store 2168 E. Hastings St. Vancouver, BC or visit

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