Steven Nederveen | Special Trees

Steven Nederveen | Special Trees

November 4-16, 2023
3045 Granville Street, Vancouver
Opening Reception: Saturday November 4, 2-4pm

Bau-Xi Vancouver proudly presents Special Trees, the new exhibition from Toronto based artist Steven Nederveen. This timely and moving series focuses on the evolving understanding of community amongst trees, and what humans can learn from embracing and emulating the trees' natural practice of working together and helping each other. Nederveen is known for drawing connections between our natural environment and aspects of spirituality through an artistic process that combines painting and photography. By combining and integrating these mediums, Nederveen develops a magical realism that insists on new perspectives on the landscape genre. 

Artist statement:

For the past 15 years I have used my depiction of trees to evoke an "austere and serene beauty, expressing a mood of spiritual solitude recognized in Zen Buddhist philosophy” (from the Definition of Wabi). My trees represented the isolation, strength and stillness we have within ourselves. In this latest body of work, my trees focus on the communal aspects of life. I've added vibrant colors and delicate patterns to small tree groupings to imply connectedness: a vision of trees as having families and communities. This comes from relatively recent scientific research that has revealed that trees have a complex and interconnected social network. Through their root systems and underground fungi networks, trees are able to communicate with each other and share resources, such as nutrients and water. This network is sometimes referred to as the "wood wide web". The concept of the "wood wide web" highlights the importance of interconnectedness and community, and that trees are not the solitary plants we once thought, but are actually living in dynamic relationships to the other plants, able to work together to raise saplings, ward off intruders and send warnings. Just as humans rely on each other for support, cooperation, and empathy, trees also depend on each other for their survival.

-Steven Nederveen, 2023



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