The art of Nancyanne Cowell  





Edging Forward
Achieving Sustainable Community Development

Author: Ann Dale | Artist: Nancyanne Cowell 




      October 10 to November 10, 2017

     Edging Forward: 
     Reconnection, Reconciliation, Regeneration
Guest Curator: Jaime Clifton     

      The Robert Bateman Centre                                                Victoria, British Columbia

The power of relationships is the most important pathway for transforming human development. Edging Forward, a contemporary exhibit at The Robert Bateman Centre, is a creative collaboration between author and artist, exploring how love, science and compassion can help us leap towards a more sustainable world. After realizing there was something lacking in mainstream sustainability discussions, they came together to explore the missing link, the thread of love. We have enough evidence and social innovation to act now, but what is holding us back? How do we leap towards new sustainable pathways? Responding to the core themes in Ann Dale’s forthcoming book Edging Forward, artist Nancyanne Cowell explores love, wonder and emotion between our built and natural worlds. Through luminous brushwork, her oil paintings merge the abstract with the figurative. They emphasize how our existence is inherently linked to nature and illuminate the beauty of this relationship.   For exhibit info read more...


Artist's Thoughts 
"By responding
 to themes, legends and fairytales within each chapter, I draw on relationships and interconnections between our built environment and the natural world.  Water  as a symbol of renewal, cleansing and emotional energy; flows throughout the painting series. It is the source of all life, representing both life and death existing in the same place. Making up most of the Earth and most of our bodies, water is a conduit between and amongst all species, communities and the biosphere. Painting beyond the conventional boundaries of the traditional 'landscape', my brushes found moments of emotion and wonder expressing these marvelous mysteries. These paintings are an offering that we may find possibility - towards a fresh understanding of being. With our planet deeply seeking care, perhaps this exhibition will stir both our hearts and minds to find meaning and strengthen our connection with the world around us."
  - Nancyanne Cowell, Edging Forward Art Collection




Vision Behind The Edging Forward Project
Edging Forward.  This book is about the power of stories, that shape our development, and influence our ability, to act now on climate change.  It is an evocative call for immediate action to move from Edging Forward to leaping onto new sustainable pathways. Once again, Dale draws upon both the personal and professional, to talk about her own journey in reconciliation, reconnection and the power of relationships as the most important pathway for transforming human development.  

This creative collaboration between author and artist experiments with a multi-sensory synergy between literature and visual arts  mirroring the new partnerships needed in shaping new ways forward.  As part of an integrated print, media and visual art project, each chapter of Edging Forward is illuminated by a series of paintings by Canadian artist Nancyanne Cowell. Responding to core concepts presented in each chapter of the manuscript, her life-affirming paintings draw on relationships and intersections between the built and natural environments. The book will be supported by one of the richest on-line living libraries that features extensive additional literature, magazine articles, an art gallery, links to video, film, and other media channels. 

(The book cover is designed by book-designer Peter Sibbald Brown.) 

About The Author...
Ann Dale, Professor for the School of Environment & Sustainability, Royal Roads University, is Canada's pre-eminant expert in the fields of sustainable communities. She holds degrees in psychology and public administration from Carleton University and a doctorate in natural resources sciences from McGill University.  Her research on governance, innovation and community vitality is designed to provide useful knowledge to Canadian decision-makers. A Trudeau Fellow Alumna (2004), Dale is nationally and internationally recognized for advancing sustainable communities. From 2004 to 2014, she held Canada's
Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development. Notably, she is also the recipient of the  prestigious Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize, for outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions to the cultural life of Canada.  Ann Dale was the winner of the 2001 Outstanding Research Achievement, Government of Canada Policy Research Initiative for her Canadian best-selling book, 'At the Edge: sustainable development in the 21st century'.  Ann Dale is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Energy Efficiency and was the founding research associate in residence, Council of Canadian Academies, 2010-2011. She is also a board member of the World Fisheries Trust, a fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences and chairs the Canadian Consortium for Sustainable Development Research. 




Starting October 10th, the Edging Forward book (Achieving Sustainable Community Development) will be available for purchase in the gift shop at The Robert Bateman Centre. The illuminated e-book will be available for purchase through  


The Edging Forward Art Collection will be available for purchase throughout the exhibition, with 25 percent of the purchase price for each painting being donated to support programming and stewardship of the natural world at the Robert Bateman Centre.  If you are interested in purchasing, please contact the artist directly: []. 

                                                                                                                                                             the studio



Community Research Connections
sustainable features of Canadian communities