New exhibition explores northern landscapes

A Canadian artist will bring her work to the Granite City with a new exhibition opening at the University of Aberdeen.

A collection of photographs by Tanya Harnett highlighting environmental issues surrounding resource extraction and the perspectives of rural First Nations communities in northern Canada, will be on display in the MacRobert building until 30 January 2015.

Tanya draws on her heritage as a member of the Carry The Kettle First Nation in Canada to explore some of the ways the energy industry is changing the places where First Nations people live in ‘Scarred/Sacred Water’.

The exhibition forms part of the outreach strategy of the Northern Colonialism programme of research at the University, which considers the intersection of colonialism and contemporary social issues in relation to economic, environmental, and cultural transformations.

Tanya Harnett said: “Exhibiting Scarred/Sacred Water here in Scotland is apt. There is a strong history of the people’s personal connections to the land here.  Communities all over the world need to speak up and defend their land.  No-one knows the life and sacred stories of the land better than those who live on it.””

Dr Marionne Cronin, a research fellow at the University, added: “This is a great opportunity for the public to seeworks by an important Canadian artist.

“They are striking, powerful images that make you feel as though you are standing on the shores of northern lakes and rivers.

“Through the exhibition, Harnett’s work raises important questions about the sustainability of different forms of resource extraction that are relevant to debates taking place in many communities well beyond northern Canada.”

A film series will run alongside the exhibition and will provide an opportunity for the public to join in the discussion. For further details visit