Re-examining the leftovers of life: Nature and art collide in ‘Unrequited Death’

Alex Hosselet likes to keep it real, and jumps at the chance to see two of his passions come together at one of his favourite places. Here’s his take on “Unrequited Death”, the newest exhibit at the Museum of Nature.

I was very excited to be invited back to the Canadian Museum of Nature having been there just a few weeks earlier for the Whales Tohorā opening. As a tremendous fan of art and an ongoing devotee to the many phenomenal exhibits the museum hosts, attending this vernissage of artist Helen Gregory’s work was a real treat.

Unrequited Death, the first collection of Gregory’s work outside of her homeland of Newfoundland, was a completely unique and distinctly Canadian perspective. Gregory, who identifies herself as a lifelong collector and appreciator of nature, juxtaposes images of taxonomical specimens and lush, ornate backgrounds.

Blue Tanagers (Work property of Helen Gregory)

Her art is simultaneously beautiful, gritty and visceral: it offers a different viewpoint on a subject matter that some would consider otherwise macabre. Gregory boldly forces us to re-examine what she calls the “leftovers of life”, as she superimposes them on a backdrop inspired by Victorian-era prints.

Unrequited Death has a style of detail and colour palette that reminded me of David Blackwood, another one of Newfoundland’s greatest artists. In that regard, this is one of the most rewarding aspects of Gregory’s work: both her style and subject matter, while very modern, is classically Canadian.

Desiccate I (Work property of Helen Gregory)

Whether you’re a fan of art or just fascinated by nature, Unrequited Death is a unique and fulfilling collection.  Part of the museum’s Celebrating the Art of Nature series, Unrequited Death will be on display until Labour Day. Don’t miss this chance to see one of Canada’s rising artists’ phenomenal work!

Thanks, Alex! Sounds like a stunning showcase of great Canadian work.