May 13 to June 17, 2023

Montréal, May 11, 2023 – ELLEPHANT presents the group exhibition Biophilia bringing together four artists who explore our relationship to the environment and enhance our perception of the importance of respecting, protecting and preserving our biodiversity.

The artists investigate our relationship to the environment through compelling works that examine our experience and contact with nature in a variety of powerful images and films. The exhibition breaks away from traditional landscape art by transporting the viewer through the lens of our modern digital era.

“Using the voices of our artists, ELLEPHANT unites with all those who contribute to raise awareness about our relationship with nature. Whether it is through the spectacular images highlighting important conservation areas presented by Rebecca Foon and marine species by Tomek Leszkiewicz, the powerful universal Haudenosaunee address delivered by xox, Skawennati’s avatar, or the highly symbolic digital landscapes and installations by Adam Basanta, the Biophilia exhibition aims to raise public awareness in ways other than conventional viewpoints and discourses.” – Christine Redfern, curator and director of ELLEPHANT Gallery.

In Biophilia, Adam Basanta presents an installation of recycled materials and plants as well as a series of collages reflecting our era of abundant access to digital images and impending environmental collapse. These digital collages are created from aggregated data of historically significant works. Basanta, a Montréal artist who is particularly sensitive to his ecological footprint, is known for integrating elements of nature, primarily vegetation, into the works he creates as well as materials often recovered from his surroundings.

Rebecca Foon, a multi-disciplinary artist and environmental activist, presents three of her magnificent photographs, odes to the peaceful and poetic oases of our planet, in lightboxes. In 2014, Rebecca Foon co-founded Pathway to Paris with Jesse Paris Smith, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to raising awareness and taking action around the Paris Agreement. Foon is also an award-winning composer and musician (cellist, singer). The new album of the Montréal chamber music ensemble Esmerine, of which Foon is a member, won the Juno Award for best instrumental album of the year. She lives and works in Montréal and New York.

Tomek Leszkiewicz also presents spectacular photographs, including his impressive prints of the humpback whale spotted in Montréal in the summer of 2020 that garnered great curiosity during  the pandemic, alongside the opportunity to view his Cannes award-winning short documentary film, The Time is Now, co-produced with director Jason Borkland. The breathtaking scenes and the rare splendour of the images captured underwater remind us of the importance of marine protected areas in our oceans. A shark biologist, Leszkiewicz is the co-founding director of Sherwood Scuba Marine Conservation and a researcher at ORS (Observatoire du requin du Saint-Laurent).

Lastly, Skawennati presents the machinima Words Before All Else. This powerful, universal, trilingual film, an edition of which is part of Hydro-Québec’s art collection, features the artist’s avatar, xox, reciting in Kanien’kéha, French and English the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Nations’ Thanksgiving address, the Ohenten Kariwatekwen, a traditional greeting to the natural world. This piece proposes a future in which Aboriginal languages thrive again, while exploring the meaning of greeting the natural world from cyberspace.


Founded in 2015, ELLEPHANT represents established and internationally renowned contemporary artists who address social, environmental and technological currents. Open to diversity and mindful of the Anthropocene, we provoke encounters between diverse analog, digital, traditional, immersive and interactive art forms. ELLEPHANT’s mission is to support and promote post-digital, inclusive, post-colonial, feminist and ecological art. Located on Peace Park in Montréal, in the former Red Light district, ELLEPHANT is part of the renowned cultural sector of the Quartier des Spectacles.



Picture by Mae Drolet