Tsawwassen’s Bettina Harvey applies an emotional, sensorial lens to the science of dendrochronology – the study of counting and examining tree rings to understand their lives – in her latest art series, Dendrochroma.
From Nov. 4 to Feb. 4, the “Mood Rings” part of her series will be exhibited alongside other science-inspired works at Science World in Vancouver.
“Inspired by her own experiences watching her father lose his memory to dementia, Dendrochroma explores the tangible and intangible relationship between colour, memory and natural elements through driftwood, graphite and bright, powerful colours,” reads her press release.
Using the drawings of driftwood as her foundation, Harvey uses colour gradients to represent the changing, aging mind in terms of emotion, perception and personality.
The smooth blending and bleeding of the colours into one another signifies how the past affects the experience of aging.
“Harvey’s process reacts to the ‘thermochromic’ mood rings of the mid-1970s – a fad that mistook changes in body temperature as mood swings, indicated by transformations in colour. The fad is part of a larger cultural impulse to connect colour gradations with mood, and Harvey’s pieces pay homage to the ongoing fascination with colour as an expression of intricate and complicated experiences of emotion,” reads Harvey’s website.
Dendrochroma has grown from her previous series, “Drift” – a graphite drawing collection inspired by pieces of driftwood her father had chosen and gifted to her as the two walked along beaches together after he had been diagnosed with dementia.
“The delicacy of these pieces mean that Harvey had to carefully transport and preserve them before they fragmented or disintegrated. Much like her father’s mind, the driftwood seemed impermanent and fragile – the substance of a past about to disappear,” reads her website.For more information on Harvey and her art, visit https://www.bettinaharvey.com/.