Exhibits

The Bateman Gallery hosts the largest collection of original and rare works by world-renowned artist and naturalist, Robert Bateman, along with a rotation of nature-inspired exhibits and a full schedule of educational and public programs. Come in and see what’s new!

The World of Robert Bateman

July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2023

Robert Bateman has spent his life immersed in the natural world. A renowned naturalist and artist, he imbues a deep knowledge into his works, bringing attention to the beauty and particularity of nature.

Suze Woolf
State of the Forest

July 31, 2021 – September 25, 2021

State of the Forest is a large-scale fabric installation by Suze Woolf. In this compelling and immersive exhibit, 30 portraits of burned trees have been digitally transferred onto fabric and hang from the ceiling. Stories written by wildland firefighter and author Lorena Williams accompany each piece. 

Relief
A Transformative Journey through the Rockies

October 2, 2021 – January 29, 2022

An exhibit of original photographs showcases the work of Calgary native, father, hiker and artist Robert Lemermeyer and his explorations in the majestic Rocky Mountains. What began as a pastime, developed into a meditation practice as the act of hiking unveiled the healing and transforming power of nature.

Thomas D. Mangelsen
A Life in the Wild

January 30 – July 23, 2021

Renowned American nature and wildlife photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen has travelled throughout the natural world for over 45 years observing and photographing Earth’s last great wild places. A Life in the Wild is a collection of his most resonant images. These photographs showcase iconic species and landscapes, documenting the everyday struggles for survival happening around the globe.

Every single image in Mangelsen’s portfolio has been taken in the wild under natural conditions: the result of him waiting for the “picture perfect moment” across decades and often in hostile conditions. Such a body of work can only be achieved by having a heightened sense of animal behaviour, an uncanny ability to read changing atmospherics in the environment and patience. At a time when digital technology is, notoriously, reprogramming its users to have shorter attention spans, A Life in the Wild stands as a testament to the rewards that can come to people who slow down their lives and wait for nature’s revelations to happen.

Grizzly Bears
Teachers of the Land

October 3, 2020 – January 23, 2021

For Indigenous peoples in North America, the Grizzly is a teacher. Their knowledge strengthens our relationship with the land, guides our stewardship, and offers insights into our own humanity. By observing a society so outwardly different from our own, through reverence and kinship, we grow closer to finding our place within the whole. 

We all are students, custodians, and change-makers. Our efforts will form the future of our world. As a keystone species, saving the Grizzly and conserving their habitat not only creates sustainable natural landscapes, but helps to enrich our own lives as co-inhabitants of our shared lands.

Grizzly Bears: Teachers of the Land was a partnership between the Bateman Foundation and the Grizzly Bear Foundation: a unique exhibition that explores the lessons often lacking in the Western understanding of this majestic creature.

Castaways
Art From The Material World

March 6 – September 26, 2020

Castaways: Art From the Material World is a rags to riches tale of the textile industry and its global impact. Featuring twenty women artists from Canada and the Americas, this immersive exhibition confronts climate change head on, exploring consumer culture and our relationship to fast fashion. Castaways is the story of a planet in crisis, told from uniquely female and indigenous perspectives.

Once upon a time, in a destination no one talks about, was an endless sea of unwanted clothing and textiles. In Castaways: Art From the Material World, society’s undesirables present a 100% recycled, dynamic combination of visual art and mixed media that ask the viewer to revisit the worthless – including individuals, animals and places that have become abandoned. As in the artwork of Robert Bateman, Castaways’ artists communicate from the frontlines of an endangered natural world, prompting meaningful public dialogue to reach a promising future.

Artist and producer, Vivienne Challandes, presents climate change-related issues in a passionate, open-ended framework to invite participation and collaborations that foster social change. “Castaways artists were asked to face the destructive chaos of the garment industry and corporate greed. No small ask. Fortunately, when highly creative people are encouraged to create brave work and commit to revolutionary thinking – the extraordinary happens”.

OneTree 2019

November 16, 2019 – February 29, 2020

Following the success of oneTree 2015 and oneTree 2017, The Bateman Foundation and Live Edge Design were proud to present oneTree 2019.

Join us in honouring the life of a single tree through the beauty of art and connecting to nature through its incredible 200-year history. The oneTree series celebrates the life and value of a single tree by inviting artists to create as much beauty from its wood as possible.

The 2019 exhibit was the biggest portfolio yet, with more than 80 individual and original works. Each is unique in its interpretation and style, with artworks varying dramatically in scale and design – from furniture to musical instruments, wooden creatures to performance-based art and poetry – with a unifying theme of honouring the tree’s remarkable heritage.

Across the Pacific
Hand Painted Silk by Kim Michelle Toft

October 12 – November 11, 2019

Across the Pacific showcases the work of Australia-based artist, Kim Michelle Toft. A marine artist, author, illustrator and publisher, Toft has produced several books that introduce children to the wonders of the fragile ocean ecosystem. Her children’s books depict vibrant underwater worlds hand-painted on silk, and this short and sweet exhibition is a magical and meaningful introduction to her wildlife work.

Like Robert Bateman, Kim Michelle Toft began her career in teaching, before embarking on a career change to become a graphic designer, and now a full-time artist and illustrator. She has now hosted 19 solo exhibitions around the world and her first four children’s books all received national and international awards. Since then, she has been invited to be a featured artist on the prestigious international organization, Artists for Conservation.

“Through my marine art and books I hope to highlight the importance of the conservation of our oceans and the coastal habitats which support them… Children are our future and I believe my books are valuable tools towards heightening awareness of the need to preserve many of our endangered sea creatures and the oceans they live in.”

Into The Arctic

June 14 — November 3, 2019

Into the Arctic showcases over fifty original oil paintings by Canadian painter Cory Trépanier. Over a decade in the making, this traveling exhibition comprises of highlights from the most ambitious body of artwork ever dedicated to the Canadian Arctic. With a pack full of painting, filming and camping gear, Trépanier traversed over 40,000 kilometres, through six Arctic National Parks and 16 Arctic communities, exploring many more places in between, in a biosphere so remote and untouched, that most of its vast landscape has never been painted before.

Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Living Explorers by Canadian Geographic Magazine, Trépanier carries on the tradition of painting first made famous by Canada’s Group of Seven, but with the environmental concern of a contemporary artist. Contextualizing the artist’s majestic paintings is a series of Arctic films, which cinematically convey the wonder of the North while documenting his expeditions.

“These experiences have created a desire in me to connect others with this remote northern wilderness through my paintings and films, with are assembled for the first time in this exhibition… I hope my work might spark awareness and conservation about Canada’s Arctic, and instill a greater appreciation and concern for the future of its ever-changing landscape.”

Plumage
The Majestic Art of Birds

February 22 – June 15, 2019

Plumage: The Majestic Art of Birds features a diverse collection of artwork that explores the fascination artists have had with birds over the last 200 years. The exhibit is a celebration of one of nature’s most diverse and dynamic species and draws together historically significant artworks by major naturalists and artists, as well as contemporary images by local wildlife photographers.

Birds have always resonated with people because of the many similarities they share with us; like delighting in communication, building intricate shelters, using beauty to both attract and repel, migrating for opportunity and exhibiting a propensity for play.

Yet, we are also awed by their “otherness,” including their mysterious habits and abilities. Birds have that magical quality and mastery over their world which we as humans can only observe in wonder. They exist in every corner of the world, from pristine natural areas to urban, human-impacted spaces. They are simultaneously commonplace and exotic, practical and entertaining, simple yet beautiful.

Most importantly, birds offer a connection to the natural world which we are losing more and more. Robert Bateman profoundly believes that, “the world would be a better place if everyone was a bird watcher,” and it is through conservation, science and art that we can rebuild our connection to nature. Featuring works from some of the world’s most iconic and pioneering artists like JJ Audubon, Bruno Liljefors, Fenwick Lansdowne and Robert Bateman, this exhibition traverses time, scale and style – much like birds themselves.

Bateman Nature 360

February 14 — February 28, 2019

For artist Robert Bateman, art and creativity has the potential to engage the spirit in many different ways. The Bateman Gallery took that philosophy and adopt an innovative way to engage the spirit – through Virtual Reality. Visitors to the Gallery explored art and nature through new eyes by experiencing Robert Bateman – Art in 360, the Foundation’s latest VR addition to the Gallery. Bateman Art in 360 was the result of a partnership between the Bateman Foundation and Live It, a local tech company dedicated to engaging youth to digital immersive experiences in nature.

Bateman Nature 360 brings the outdoors to life using a combination of 3D art, 360 degree video, a voice over by Robert Bateman and a surprise visit at the end to one of Bateman’s favourite spots. The experience surely created excitement for those wanting to see nature with different eyes. For Mike Irvine – Co-Found of Live It – this new way to experiencing nature will be transformative: “Nature literacy is too often seen as a form of hope – hoping that things will get better – but if you focus on joy, and the experience of joy, then your audience makes an even deeper connection to the environment.”

One Shot for Coastal Carnivores

November 14 — December 03, 2018

The Bateman Gallery was pleased to host Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s One Shot For Coastal Carnivores, a collection of photographs to helps safeguard coastal carnivores.

In support of efforts with Coastal First Nations, to permanently end commercial trophy hunting of all large carnivores on the coast of British Columbia, Raincoast curated this unique collection of 15 photographs, which each tell the story or importance of protecting coastal carnivores.

Ravine, Mouse, a Bird’s Beak

October 04, 2018 — January 31, 2019

Visual art and poetry have a long history of contemplating the natural world and its ecology. When these two art forms come together, a conversation happens between what is painted, what is observed and the resulting ideas, images and emotions. Poetry is, as Rita Dove writes, “language at its most distilled and most powerful.” This distillation of language inspired by art is called ekphrastic poetry and allows the poet to inhabit, question, confront and speak to the art and its maker.

Ravine, Mouse, a Bird’s Beak was an exhibit in collaboration with Yvonne Blomer, Victoria’s poet laureate. Yvonne responded to Robert Bateman’s paintings through a series of original poems. The Bateman Gallery opened up our collection to Yvonne in order to fully immerse her into the art of Robert Bateman and his unique view on the natural world. Displayed in unique ways, including audio recording, Yvonne’s poetry added new depth and meaning to Robert’s classic pieces.

Eyes of Society
Art, Traditional Knowledge and the Watchmen of Haida Gwaii

June 15 — September 30, 2018

Eyes of Society: Art, Traditional Knowledge and the Watchmen of Haida Gwaii was a collection of over thirty works of art by ten Haida and non-indigenous artists. Coming from different regional and cultural backgrounds in Canada, all the artists explore the meaning of “sense of place” on the islands of Haida Gwaii through their own artistic traditions. Through their art, language and beliefs, they investigate the notion that artists, traditionally, have been the “eyes of society.”

For indigenous communities like Haida Gwaii, art has long been a vehicle for the transmission of traditional knowledge and values from one generation to the next. Traditional forms and representational imagery convey the stories of the people, enabling the continuity of a shared identity, which defines the group and provides social cohesion.

What can the “Watchmen of Haida Gwaii” teach the rest of us about our relationship with our own land, the place we identify as home? What suitable context can we adopt to define the relationship between First Nations and the non-indigenous peoples, who jointly inhabit this land and rely on artists from all backgrounds to be the “eyes of society?”

The exhibit conversation started with the 2016 short documentary Eyes of Society, which documents the kayak trip of 6 artists travelling from the Haida village sites of T’aanuu to SG̱ang Gwaay Llanagaay. It was an opportunity to present together First Nations and non-indigenous artists from different backgrounds an exploration of the meaning of “place” through difference artistic ways of seeing. What results is a diverse collection of work representing a cross-section of Canada’s diverse population. Each of the artists reflects his or her own experience of Haida Gwaii and, through an examination of core Haida traditional knowledge and values, establishes a common ground towards a shared future.

Bateman’s Beginnings

March 05, 2018 — June 10, 2018

Many know Robert Bateman as Canada’s most recognised wildlife painter, but few knew of him as an impressionist painter before his rise to fame. Bateman’s Beginnings shows the rich depth of Bateman’s artistic talents that have spanned his entire life. Taking a deeper look at his impressionism, cubism and abstract landscapes, the exhibit highlights his long journey into nature realism. From early childhood doodles, to impressionist landscapes, to abstract wintery scenes, Bateman has always painted what is close to his heart. This exhibit explores his earliest works which inspired him to become the artist the world came to know.

This unique exhibit also focuses on the influencial painters that impacted his art. This will be seen in a retrospective of 20 never-before-seen paintings pulled from the Bateman studio archives. In addition to Bateman’s unseen original landscapes, there are also highlights from well-known artists that have influenced Bateman and helped shape the artist he is today. American painter Andrew Wyeth would serve as one of the pivotal transitions along Bateman’s journey from abstract impressionism to realism. Kimon Nicolaїdes’ book The Natural Way to Draw from 1941 was a major influence during Bateman’s university years. It pushed him to capture the essence of his subject matter with just a few bold strokes.

OneTree 2017

November 16, 2017 — January 31, 2018

A fallen tree should never die quietly, never mind who’s around to hear it.

With the success of oneTree 2015, the Bateman Gallery and Live Edge Design had once again partnered to bring you oneTree 2017. Join us in celebrating the life of a single tree through the beauty of art.

For over a hundred years a single Walnut Tree has been witness to the everyday life of residents on St. Charles Street in Victoria’s Rockland neighbourhood. The tree had to come down due to safety concerns and will now be transformed by artists into one-of-a-kind pieces – from dining room tables, guitars, bowls to hand crafted sculptures.