Collin Elder began painting after leaving a career in ecological conservation, which, along with a degree in wildlife biology, has focused his artwork on the deep and often mysterious connections with the natural world.
Collin sees his work as being a transition from conversation and how we relate to the past, into the redesigning of reality, inspiring a shift in our anthropocentric vantage point. His paintings reflect a yearning to further pursue the depths of our links with the non-human, and hopefully connect the remembering of them with the health of our human community.
In an effort to evoke a vivid sense of direct experience, he paints stories of the fluid and every-changing natural landscape. These stories reflect an ancient desire to heal spiritual amnesia and re-unite mental concepts with bodily awareness. The paintings play with the idea of looking through science and technology into active and subjective interaction with the ecosystem.
Collin resides in Tofino, British Columbia where he is surrounded by an abundance of the natural landscape he translates into his own unique and finely crafted vision.
“Large public murals provide opportunities to put nature back on a large cultural pedestal. Creating art and subject matter this large provides the chance to see nature as idolized, again. I hope public art like this can provide moments to inspire a new dialogue with nature. It’s a loud reminder that nature has not become silent but that we’ve diminished our ability to properly observe it.
Magnolias are the inspiration for this mural. Their past provides a hope for this change. Their history is ancient. They are believed to be the flower responsible for encouraging the symbiotic relationship between flowers and pollinators that helps sustain life today. The simplicity of the design creates a space to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. This design also allows us to find joy and beauty in a mostly industrial space.”