Saturday, June 22, 2024

15 shots of renowned local driftwood artist’s latest exhibition in Bastion Square (PHOTOS)

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A local artist whose specialty is creating stunning, lifelike driftwood sculptures, Tanya Bub, has taken over Bastion Square’s Gage Gallery with her latest exhibition that has been dropping jaws since it opened.

Dubbed The Greatest Show on Earth, this exhibition revolves primarily around circus performers and animals, but through a poignant lens to explore themes of imperfection, determination and risk.

“It’s called The Greatest Show on Earth, but its kind of tongue in cheek, because it’s sort of a metaphor for life,” Bub explained.

“What I wanted to capture about the circus is there’s this sort of presentation, there’s this brouhaha, this flash, but underneath it all maybe a lot of pain — a circus would have been a really hard existence, and yet, the show must go on.”

The feature piece of the show is called ‘Sitting With Grace’ and to build this, Bub used upcycled materials she collected from garbage and recycle bins.

Sitting With Grace is meant to be a piece to connect housed Victorians with the unhoused population of the city who she believes have just as much right to occupy space in Victoria as anybody else does. 

She created this piece and put the exhibition together in hopes to inspire empathy for Houseless Victorians, particularly the individuals who gather on Pandora Street from Centennial Square all the way up to Cook Street. 

Bub will be donating a portion of the proceeds of The Greatest Show on Earth to Our Place Society and encourages anyone who has extra art supplies to donate them by bringing them down to Gage Gallery. 

The donated supplies will also be given to Our Place Society, so their clientele can have access to creating art. 

“We’ve had a little bit of art donations so far, but we’d love more,” Bub told Victoria Buzz. 

“People are coming and enjoying the show and that’s great, but when I tell them it’s a fundraiser for Our Place, they say they’ve never heard of it.”

Bub said when she spoke with Our Place they were glad and thankful for the fundraiser, but more so they were looking to spread awareness of their organization and for the partnership. 

Two filmmakers recently collaborated with Bub and Our Place Society to create a documentary featuring the unhoused population who call Pandora Avenue home. That film will be debuted in a screening at Gage Gallery on September 9th. 

This exhibition is not Bub’s first philanthropic effort through her art. In the last year alone she donated $3,000 to Ukrainian refugees by creating a larger-than-life sculpture of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and she donated over $10,000 to the BC SPCA’s Wild Arc program which helps rehabilitate wild animals. 


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Bub’s artwork isn’t just locally renowned. She was recently invited to an upcoming art show in Qatar that features artists who use up-cycled materials to create their art. 

She is the only Canadian who was invited to this show and she is the only driftwood artist. Bub says she will bring several pieces of her art which are currently on display at Gage Gallery with her to be exhibited in Qatar. 

The Greatest Show on Earth will be on at Gage Gallery and free to the public to view until September 10th. 

Here are 15 pictures of some of her stunning sculptures:

Tanya Bub Sitting With Grace (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Cardboard signs used by houseless people in Victoria that Bub integrated into her Sitting With Grace Piece (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Sitting With Grace (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Artemis the foot archer (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Lion with Wind Phone behind (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Tightrope walker (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Dog circus (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Fawn and hoop (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Wind Phone, a piece where people who have lost someone to the toxic drug crisis can call their loved one to say goodbye. Bub says she will donate this piece to Our Place Society for their clientele to use (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Joy the elephant outside of Gage Gallery (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Owl (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
The Space Between Us (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
The Space Between us (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Large horse with circus scene characters behind (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)
Small elephant (Curtis Blandy/Victoria Buzz)

The Greatest Show on Earth

  • Where: Gage Gallery in Bastion Square
  • When: August 22nd to September 10th, film screening on September 9th
  • Admission: By donation with all proceeds going to Our Place Society

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Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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