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Bill Burns: Safety Gear for Small Animals

Evergreen Cultural Centre
Coquitlam BC Dec 24-Jan 29, 2006

Bill Burns - Hard-hat, from the series Safety Gear for Small Animals

Bill Burns, Hard-hat, from the series Safety Gear for Small Animals (1994-2004), mixed media [Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam BC, Dec 4-Jan 29]



Bill Burns, Work gloves, from the series Safety Gear for Small Animals (1994-2004), mixed media [Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam BC, Dec 4-Jan 29]


Bill Burns, Work gloves, from the series Safety Gear for Small Animals


Almost 50 years ago, conceptual artist Bill Burns began his scrutiny of hazards and toxins that affect animals and birds in the wild. Starting small, with vests and gloves custom-designed for prairie squirrels and common moles, his company Safety Gear for Small Animals (SGSA) has grown to be the world’s largest producer of miniature safety and rehabilitation gear for small creatures.

SGSA today has production units, conservation and relocation departments, a multimedia program, prosthetics program, a publishing house and travelling museum. The products include tiny respirators, diminutive gloves, UV goggles, bullet-proof vests, hard hats, tents and toy-size emergency vehicles. The company’s website (www.safetygearmuseum.com) boasts a range of four sizes: XXL for moose, giraffes and elephants; XL for elk and grizzly bears; L for black bears, wolves, deer and mountain sheep; M for pandas, raccoons, badgers and crocodiles; S for otters, ferrets, turtles and prairie dogs; and Petite for frogs, moles, lizards, shrews and pigeons.

Bill Burns - Safety mask, from the series Safety Gear for Small Animals

Bill Burns, Safety mask, from the series Safety Gear for Small Animals (1994-2004), mixed media [Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam BC, Dec 4-Jan 29]



Bill Burns, New orange gloves, from the series Safety Gear for Small Animals (1994-2004), mixed media [Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam BC, Dec 4-Jan 29]


Bill Burns - New orange gloves, from the series Safety Gear for Small Animals

Tongue in cheek, or true story? Burns’ mission continues to be strong and undeterred, with exhibits and tours to Seoul, London, Los Angeles, Havana, New York, Marseilles and numerous Canadian cities. Curator Annette Hurtig comments on the cautionary tale Burns exposes through his work: that global warming, pesticides, human development, disease, deforestation and a plethora of other people-inspired catastrophes persist unabated – endangering and extinguishing animal life of all types and sizes.

www.evergreenculturalcentre.ca

Mia Johnson

 Wed, Nov 2, 2005