Su Rynard


video projection
November 14 - November 22, 2014

Untitled (black throated blue warbler)

Untitled (black throated blue warbler), 2014 video still

Songbirds are nocturnal travellers. Each night during spring and fall migration, tens of thousands of birds may be passing overhead. Unlike migrating geese or ducks that we can see and hear, these birds fly high in the dark sky, hidden to our eyes and ears.

Today we are losing our birds at a rate greater than any other time in human history. Birds are bio-indicators for the health of the planet and their diminishing numbers are a warning to us all.

Viewed from the street at night, this work turns the upstairs gallery at Paul Petro Contemporary Art into a ‘projection booth’ and the windows into a ‘projection screen’. On the windows/screens are images of songbirds in simulated night flight.

The songbirds were shot in slow motion flying in a wind tunnel. The resulting image is somewhat amorphous and ethereal -- an omen that speaks not only to the disappearance of songbirds – but also to what this means in terms of losing a piece of our biodiversity and our history.

Anthropocene is a term coined when scientists recognized that the influence of human behavior on the Earth's atmosphere in recent centuries as so significant that is was necessary to constitute a new geological epoch. Technically, it is up to a group of scholars to decide by 2016 whether to officially declare that the Holocene era is over. But official or not, we are now living in the Anthropocene.

Su Rynard is a media artist with a body of work that spans nearly three decades. From her early video art to her feature films, Rynard has worked across a range of approaches: dramatic, experimental, documentary, and installation. Her interest in science, ecology and natural history and has informed and inspired her recent projects. The National Gallery of Canada, The Canada Council Art Bank, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York have purchased and /or programmed Rynard's work.

Su Rynard was born in Toronto in 1961. She received an entrance scholarship to York University, and was awarded the George A. Reid Scholarship and the Melvile P. White Scholarship before graduating with honours from the Ontario College of Art in 1985. Rynard was a director resident at the Canadian Film Centre in 1996.


As Soon As Weather Will Permit, dual screen HD, 2013. 15 MIN.

Seed Bank – photo based exhibition and installation, 2011.

Drowning London – video installation, HD video 2010. 1 min. loop

Coronation Park -16mm film / HD video, 2009. I minute

Apples (Malus Domestica) - video installation, S16mm film & HD video, 2009. 6:45 min. loop

Bear –short film / video installation, 2004. 10 min.

Bug Girl – short film / video installation, 2003. 6 min.

Strands – short drama, 16mm film, 1997. 23 min.

The Day Jesus Melted – video, 1999. 3 min.

Eight Men Called Eugene – video 1996. 12 min.

Big deal So what – short drama, 16mm film, 1995. 25 min.

Signal – short film, 35mm film / video 1993. 3 min.

What Wants To Be Spoken, What Remains To Be Said – short drama, 16mm, 1993. 25 min.
1932 - video art, 1988. 9 min.

Within Dialogue (Silence) - video art, 1987. 5 min.

Absence - video art, 1986. 5 min.


SongbirdSOS – feature film, 2015. 100 min.

Kardia – feature film, 35mm film 2005. 85 min.

Dream Machine – feature documentary, video, 2000. 76 min.


Best Feature Doc Pitch. Sunnyside of the Doc. SongbirdSOS, 2012
Alfred P. Sloan Award Feature Film Prize. Kardia, 2006.
SCinema, Sydney Australia, Best Narrative Film Award. Kardia, 2006
Creative Vision Award. Earth Dance Film Festival, Bug Girl, 2005
Silver Award winner Worldfest Houston, Strands, 1998
Mediawave Festival Hungary, Best Editing, Signal, 1994
Best Short Film Cabbagetown Film and Video Festival. SIGNAL
Nomination for M. Joan Chalmers Documentarian Award for Film & Video. Sexual Healing, 1996