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The Mackay Creek Series

The Mackay Creek Series
Paintings by Ron den Daas

£19.95 | $29.95
27 x 29 cm | 10 x 11 in
121 ills | 128 pages
ISBN 9781910433409

Contributors Bill Jeffries, Brian Riddle

The Mackay Creek Series is a diaristic and critical commentary on the artist's role in raising global ecological consciousness. By painting snapshots of the state of the creek over several years, Ron den Daas monitors and records the flux of one ecosystem through several cycles of the seasons. In his paintings, Ron den Daas bypasses humanity's obsession with 'the self' and comments on the small changes in the natural world. 

Rather than merely depicting oil spills, toxic sludge, clear-cuts or wetland draining, his observations aim to sensitise viewers to the precarious ecological state that humans have created everywhere. In November 2008 den Daas found returned Coho salmon adults in Upper Mackay Creek. Although this was once a common occurrence in North Vancouver creeks, it was a rare event in the endangered urban creek ecosystem of 2008.

Painting onsite over several years, he completed the first of 60 studies of a pool and small waterfall in the watercourse. In addition to environmentalism, a key context for the painting in this book is the history of diaristic procedures in art. Everyday images, seemingly of little consequence, forcibly reference much larger global phenomena. By treating the Creek diaristically, observing the same site for 60 days, the series monitors and records the state of one ecosystem through a single cycle of the seasons.

Dedicated to the proposition that art can have a significant role in raising global ecological consciousness, Ron den Daas offers this critical commentary through his art of the everyday and documents the conditions that undermine the well-being of a particular habitat, synecdochically standing in for ecosystems everywhere.

Written by artist Bill Jeffries, with a Foreword by Brian Riddle, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Salmon Foundation in Vancouver.