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Photographer brings tree planters into focus

Rita Leistner's exhibit, The Tree Planters, opens this week at Two Rivers Gallery. Documentary screening happening Friday night.
Tree planter exhibit
Award-winning photographer Rita Leistner's exhibit, The Tree Planters, runs from April 29 to July 17 at Two Rivers Gallery. Tree planter Matthew Muzzatii was one of the subjects of Leistner's four-year project.

Award-winning photographer Rita Leistner’s new exhibit, The Tree Planters, debuts at Two Rivers Gallery this week.

The exhibit is the culmination of a four-year project, during which Leistner joined a group of tree planters working in northern B.C.

“The result is a stunning body of work that tells the story of a beautiful, relentless landscape and the hard work required to preserve it,” a statement issued by Two Rivers Gallery on Wednesday said. “The Tree Planters is an immersive experience, including a feature room built within the gallery to recreate the darkness of the night sky. Inside, visitors can take in the beauty of an enchanted forest at night that can usually only be reached through long drives down forest service roads. The epic proportions of these photographs and videos are a celebration not only of the land but of the people whose time and effort change and, in their own way, become part of the landscape.”

Leistner will give an artist’s talk at the gallery on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., followed by an opening reception. The exhibit runs at Two Rivers Gallery from Friday until July 17.

A screening of Leistner’s feature-length documentary, Forest for the Trees, will take place at the College of New Caledonia on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Forest for the Trees was a finalist at the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards and won the Audience Feature Favourite at the Victoria Film Festival.

Tickets are available for purchase in person at the gallery, or online.