The Natural Order

Thaddeus Holownia


The Natural Order celebrates 40 years of production from New Brunswick-based photographer Thaddeus Holownia. Firmly located within the North American documentary genre, Holownia’s work is engaged with the histories of photography and of places. Using predominantly analogue techniques, he merges high craft with prolonged inquiry, resulting in projects that can span decades. The exhibition offers insight into Holownia’s art-making from the 1970s to the present day, featuring newly created works, such as Icarus: Falling of Birds, in which Holownia documents a tragic event where nearly 10,000 birds died during a migratory flight. Some 26 species were attracted, “like moths to a flame,” to a 100-foot-high flare at the Canaport liquefied natural gas plant in Saint John, New Brunswick, in 2013. The myth of Icarus serves as a metaphor to examine people’s relationship with the natural world.

The Natural Order is shown in tandem with Walden Revisited at Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, New York (April 15 to July 30), and a retrospective exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, The Nature of Nature: The Photographs of Thaddeus Holownia, 1976-2016 (February 4 to May 28), along with the launch of an accompanying publication of the same title.