The interest in nature converges with concerns about questions of identity, ecology, politics and aesthetics. The environment constitutes a fertile field of inquiry for artists, who observe it, act upon it, sample it and seek to understand the changes taking place within it. The differences in the treatment of nature that we can observe in such artistic genres as landscape, still life, Land Art illustrate how human beings’ relationship with nature has changed over time, moving gradually from contemplation to interaction. While science, for its part, sometimes leads us to believe in the possibility of complete mastery over nature, the projects presented here attest not so much to a desire for domination as to a limitless curiosity with respect to the natural world.
The interest in nature converges with concerns about questions of identity, ecology, politics and aesthetics. The environment constitutes a fertile field of inquiry for artists, who observe it, act upon it, sample it and seek to understand the changes taking place within it. The differences in the treatment of nature that we can observe in such artistic genres as landscape, still life, Land Art illustrate how human beings’ relationship with nature has changed over time, moving gradually from contemplation to interaction. While science, for its part, sometimes leads us to believe in the possibility of complete mastery over nature, the projects presented here attest not so much to a desire for domination as to a limitless curiosity with respect to the natural world.

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

Interventions: “People are like comets. We leave a trail wherever we go” #1 (Gordon Fader, geologist aboard C.C.G.S. Hudson): Three Dimensional Fish Habitat Project



Video and bookwork on wooden stand: sandblasted glass binder, digital documents gleaned from scientists and fishermen, hair sutures

Artist: Susan Feindel, Photo: Gary Castle, Ned Pratt and Susan Feindel
2001 - 2005
© Susan Feindel


Susan Feindel has participated in pure research activities during scientific expeditions on the Hudson, a scientific research vessel belonging to the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada’s largest ocean research centre. The artist has made use of underwater sounding techniques in order to create works that reflect her experience of the sea and serve as a reflection on the impact of human activity on the ocean ecosystem. In the process, she has shed light on the whole technological arsenal required to see what is normally invisible to the naked eye. Her video and book document the undersea world, but using research notes of a different type from those produced by scientists. Each of the artist’s works embodies facts established through observation. But unlike scientists, who convert the data they gather into a whole array of graphs and charts, Feindel remains attuned to the subjective element that makes its way into the so-called scientific method.

To see the video Northern Deep Sea Coral: Crucial Habitats?, 2002 followed by Coral in Hand, 2002 that was included on t Read More
Susan Feindel has participated in pure research activities during scientific expeditions on the Hudson, a scientific research vessel belonging to the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada’s largest ocean research centre. The artist has made use of underwater sounding techniques in order to create works that reflect her experience of the sea and serve as a reflection on the impact of human activity on the ocean ecosystem. In the process, she has shed light on the whole technological arsenal required to see what is normally invisible to the naked eye. Her video and book document the undersea world, but using research notes of a different type from those produced by scientists. Each of the artist’s works embodies facts established through observation. But unlike scientists, who convert the data they gather into a whole array of graphs and charts, Feindel remains attuned to the subjective element that makes its way into the so-called scientific method.

To see the video Northern Deep Sea Coral: Crucial Habitats?, 2002 followed by Coral in Hand, 2002 that was included on the mini monitor with this installation, please follow this link.

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

Interventions: “People are like comets. We leave a trail wherever we go” #1 (Gordon Fader, geologist aboard C.C.G.S. Hudson): Three Dimensional Fish Habitat Project, 2001-2005

Artist: Susan Feindel, Photo: Gary Castle, Ned Pratt and Susan Feindel
2001 - 2005
© Susan Feindel


Interventions: “People are like comets. We leave a trail wherever we go” #1 (Gordon Fader, geologist aboard C.C.G.S. Hudson): Three Dimensional Fish Habitat Project, 2001-2005

Artist: Susan Feindel, Photo: Gary Castle, Ned Pratt and Susan Feindel
2001 - 2005
© Susan Feindel


Interventions: “People are like comets. We leave a trail wherever we go” #1 (Gordon Fader, geologist aboard C.C.G.S. Hudson): Three Dimensional Fish Habitat Project, 2001-2005

Artist: Susan Feindel, Photo: Gary Castle, Ned Pratt and Susan Feindel
2001 - 2005
© Susan Feindel


Interventions: “People are like comets. We leave a trail wherever we go” #1 (Gordon Fader, geologist aboard C.C.G.S. Hudson): Three Dimensional Fish Habitat Project, 2001-2005

Artist: Susan Feindel, Photo: Gary Castle, Ned Pratt and Susan Feindel
2001 - 2005
© Susan Feindel


Dialogues with scientists, academics, fishermen, and my residency aboard oceanography vessel C.C.G.S. Hudson have guided my research for preparation and completion of Marine Installations. Extraordinary views by video and sonar side scan have offered me the illusion of intimacy with benthic (ocean bottom) habitats of the Scotia Banks, deep sea coral habitats at the edge of the shelf, and the Grand Banks near Hibernia. The wonders of these immense and mysterious habitats connect us to a vast food supply and our human dependency upon it. The subject of controversy; scientific, moral, and political, they have had an impact on my personal representation and understanding of this developing body of work.

I became aware of our northern deep sea coral environment in 1999, an animal habitat corresponding not only in hydrocarbon sedimentation of the Triassic-Jurassic areas (and by extension, the oil/gas industry), but also with the gigantic off-shore fishing zones which are the global target of ocean canneries and fishing draggers. This habitat, stretching south along the eastern seaboard and north past Newfoundland, has been cited by fishermen and scientists as a “seat&rd Read More
Dialogues with scientists, academics, fishermen, and my residency aboard oceanography vessel C.C.G.S. Hudson have guided my research for preparation and completion of Marine Installations. Extraordinary views by video and sonar side scan have offered me the illusion of intimacy with benthic (ocean bottom) habitats of the Scotia Banks, deep sea coral habitats at the edge of the shelf, and the Grand Banks near Hibernia. The wonders of these immense and mysterious habitats connect us to a vast food supply and our human dependency upon it. The subject of controversy; scientific, moral, and political, they have had an impact on my personal representation and understanding of this developing body of work.

I became aware of our northern deep sea coral environment in 1999, an animal habitat corresponding not only in hydrocarbon sedimentation of the Triassic-Jurassic areas (and by extension, the oil/gas industry), but also with the gigantic off-shore fishing zones which are the global target of ocean canneries and fishing draggers. This habitat, stretching south along the eastern seaboard and north past Newfoundland, has been cited by fishermen and scientists as a “seat” of marine life - the preferred environment for the security and food of many juvenile fish and, by extension, the larger fish which feed on them. Beneath the limit of our sun’s rays at 300-1,500 meters, these habitats were little known to most people other than fishermen, their vital role in the food chain barely suspected. Global estimates suggest that the destruction of coral beds, marine habitats and spawning grounds by fishing gear during the past 30 years exceeds that of rain forest clear cutting.

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

Born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Susan Feindel lives and works in Dartmouth. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, and studied with Orland Larson in fine metals at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. She is a recipient of the Claudia De Hueck Fellowship in Art and Science, which is awarded by the National Gallery of Canada. As an artist, she has participated in several scientific expeditions conducted in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and in the Canadian Arctic.

selected exhibitions
2005 Susan Feindel:SCAN, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax (Nova Scotia)[Susan Gibson Garvey, curator] 2003 Landscapes Beneath the Sea, Arts Place, Annapolis Royal (Nova Scotia) 2002 Against Time, Armando Museum, Amersfoort (Netherlands) [Petra Halkes, curator] 1998 Figura, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa (Ontario) [Petra Halkes, curator]
Born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Susan Feindel lives and works in Dartmouth. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, and studied with Orland Larson in fine metals at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. She is a recipient of the Claudia De Hueck Fellowship in Art and Science, which is awarded by the National Gallery of Canada. As an artist, she has participated in several scientific expeditions conducted in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and in the Canadian Arctic.

selected exhibitions
  • 2005 Susan Feindel:SCAN, Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax (Nova Scotia)[Susan Gibson Garvey, curator]
  • 2003 Landscapes Beneath the Sea, Arts Place, Annapolis Royal (Nova Scotia)
  • 2002 Against Time, Armando Museum, Amersfoort (Netherlands) [Petra Halkes, curator]
  • 1998 Figura, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa (Ontario) [Petra Halkes, curator]

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

ocean ecosystem

An ecological unity formed by the oceans and the whole range of living organisms that live in them. Covering 70.8% of the Earth’s surface, the oceans constitute by far the biggest ecosystem. The term “ocean ecosystem” also encompasses the whole spectrum of interactions between marine species and their environment.
ocean ecosystem

An ecological unity formed by the oceans and the whole range of living organisms that live in them. Covering 70.8% of the Earth’s surface, the oceans constitute by far the biggest ecosystem. The term “ocean ecosystem” also encompasses the whole spectrum of interactions between marine species and their environment.

© Galerie de l'UQAM 2007. All rights reserved

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • demonstrate an understanding of how science and art can be linked;
  • try to explain the state of mind of the artist when she made this art piece.

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