Liz Toohey-Wiese is a settler artist residing on the homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sə̓lílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. She is a graduate from the MFA program at NSCAD University. She completed her
undergraduate degree in painting at Emily Carr University, also undertaking coursework at the University of Victoria and the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. She has taken part in solo and group shows across Canada, and recently was
the artist in residence at the Sointula Art Shed (2019), the Caetani Cultural Center (2020/21), Island Mountain Arts (2021) and upcoming Similkameen Artist Residency (2022). Deeply interested in the history of landscape painting, her paintings explore
contemporary relationships between identity and place. Her most recent work explores the complicated topic of wildfires and their connections to tourism, economy, grief, and renewal. She is a full time Fine Arts faculty member at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, BC.
Billboard installed outside of Vernon, BC from August 2020 - March 2021
Landscape art has long been used as a form of truth-making, influenced by the stories humans are telling themselves at that particular moment about the environment around them. My practice has remained curious about the history I find myself in conversation with as a Canadian landscape painter, and has attempted to look at ways to undermine the myth of the Canadian landscape as a site of vast, untouched wilderness.
My wildfire paintings attempt to grapple with the repercussions of our direct influence on our forest landscapes: the increased prevalence and severity of fire on the landscape is happening because of decades of colonial forest management practices, and the warming of the planet through climate change. What if, instead of looking away from this reality, we stare directly at the changes that are happening right now, accept and grieve the losses we are experiencing, and find the renewal that is happening amidst the destruction?