Artist Chili Thom was interviewed by Mountain Life Magazine about his passion for BC’s coast and the reason he joined the Art for an oil-free coast initiative.
Interview by Todd Lawson
Chili Thom cares about British Columbia’s wild beauty. It is the primary inspiration for not only his stunning artwork, but also his everyday life. “From the rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island to the high summits in the B.C. Coastal Range…the outdoors continuously inspire me,”says Thom. This past June, Chili was chosen as one of 50 of Canada’s most celebrated artists to take part in Art for an Oil Free Coast. We had a chat with Chili to see what taking a stance against the Enbridge pipeline means to him.
ML: How did you become invlolved in the project?
“I was invited into the project by the organizer/artist Mark Hobson and invited to join the Expedition aboard ‘Maple Leaf’ a 92′ wooden tall ship by it’s Captain Kevin Smith. I had been aboard that vessel in Haida Gwaii last summer for another inspirational trip to experience that area for an underwater piece and the connection between my art, the area and the ship had been formed. So it seemed a perfect fit for me to join the effort in this project.”
ML: Being an outdoor soul, most of your stuff is inspired by nature. Did going to the Great Bear Rainforest light a fire in your creativity in terms of looking a nature with new eyes with what could potentially happen to this landscape and to the people that live here?
“The whole purpose of the expeditions to take the artists to the Great Bear was so that we all developed a personal connection to the area so that we would be able to express that connection through our art. In the hopes of showing the public how incredibly diverse and extremely fragile the area is. Being on the trip with an extremely knowledgeable crew and a Naturalist we learned about the whole interconnectedness of the habitat and all the species living within it as we were looking at it first hand. Once we learned more about how devastating and irreparable the damage would be from a spill all the artists really poured their heart and souls into their pieces to help protect the area that we were so blessed to have had an opportunity to experience.”
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