Nature is a big inspiration for artist Casey Koyczan. He likes to find materials that are considered dead in nature and give them a second chance at life. He starts with a vision, sources his materials, and then chooses the best spot to create one of his large scale installations.
The skylight on the gallery floor of the Winnipeg Art Gallery is the spot Casey has chosen for his installation Gone But Not Forgotten. It is part of the current Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit. The dead materials he has chosen are branches from the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Tragically the bodies of many indigenous people have been found in the river waters. Casey says their spirit and souls live on in these branches from the river. Thus the dead branches have a second chance at life.
Casey’s installations often take on the traits of amorphous beings that invade spaces in modern architecture. His piece Gone But Not Forgotten at the Winnipeg Art Gallery certainly does that.
On his Facebook page Casey says his installation Gone But Not Forgotten “pushes for recognition and remembrance of the women, children, and men that we have lost over the years in Canada due to the injustices, mistreatment, and economic scrutiny First Nations people face on a daily basis.