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Sylvia Grace Borda, Aerial Fields (2013), video installation. Courtesy of the artist, photographed by Brian Giebelhaus.

Sylvia Grace Borda: Aerial Fields

See aerial footage of working farms south of the Fraser River.

This site-specific work presents a series of videos exploring farming and art as intersections of cultural production. Historic artists such as John-Francois Millet and Eugene Atget were only able to capture orchards or farmland by easel or camera from a ground perspective. In Sylvia Grace Borda's contemporary project, vast and dense carpets of food crops are revealed both from the ground and from above.

Using the technology of low-altitude aerial videography, her digital sketches simultaneously observe and record within real time portraits of diverse parcels of agricultural land. These video vignettes, when projected in large scale on UrbanScreen, become monumental moving dioramas. Viewers are offered the opportunity to experience farm operations from multiple perspectives.

This work was created in the summer of 2013 during a TechLab artist residency at Surrey Art Gallery. Aerial Fields is one of five works created as part of Sylvia Grace Borda's epic agricultural project This One's for the Farmer.

About the Artist

Sylvia Grace Borda is a member of a growing field of artists tackling cultural policy through the visual arts. She is a sought-after and respected voice at the forefront of culture-led and social economic as well as community development and engagement projects in Canada and the UK. She is currently leading an artist-in-residence program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University examining the role of art and science learning today.
Sylvia Grace Borda has been an artist and Research Associate at University of Stirling (Scotland), and at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Credits and Acknowledgements

Production Team

Reiner Derdau, UAV flight operations | John Lynch, Google Street View photography | Roz McNulty, video editing

UAV Consultancy

Denis Bison | Peter Cox, Ministry of Transport Canada | Allison Dymond | Colin Laverty

Farms and Related Organizations

Adam Bongarzone & Samantha Lawler, Sundog Vegetables, Surrey, BC | Mike Bose & family, Bose Farm, Surrey, BC | Sarah Dent, Co-ordinator, Young Agrarians | Pat and Sue Harrison, Collishaw Historic Farm | Christine Koch, Director of the BCYFA | Peter Leblanc, President, Surrey Urban Famer’s Market Association | Vernon Finley, Sue and Chris Klapwijk, Finley's Rhododendrons | Melissa Maltais, Market Manager, Surrey Urban Famer’s Market Association | Cristina and Josef Molnar, Langley, BC | Ginny and Harold Fearing, Fearing's Farm - Species Rhododendron and Azalea Nursery, Abbotsford, BC | Ravi Bathe, R&R Farms Ltd., President of the BC Chicken Growers Association, and President of the BC Young Farmers Association | Mohinder Hansra, Hansra Farms, Pitt Meadows | Michael and Linda Steele, Clover Valley Organic Farm | Pam Tamis, Rondriso Farms, Surrey, BC | Ron Tamis, Vice President, Surrey Urban Market and Owner, Rondriso Farms, Surrey, BC | Nigel Van der Brink, Cedarbrink Dairy Ltd. | Doug Zaklan and Gemma McNeill, Zaklan Heritage Farm

International Support

Malcolm Dickson, Director, Street Level Photoworks Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland | J.Keith Donnelly | Dan Gilroy | Chris Hawkes | Dorothy Hunter | Sally Johnston and Staff, Starter for 6, Cultural Enterprise Office | Mima Sorocean, Lois Atelier & Centre for the International Book and Media Arts

Curators: Liane Davison and Alison Rajah
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery

Image credit: Sylvia Grace Borda, Aerial Fields, 2013, video installation. Photo by Brian Giebelhaus.