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current work

Gordon Brent INGRAM

email: studio[the at symbol]  |  gordon_brent_ingram1966[the at symbol]



These scarlet emperor runner beans, Phaseolus coccineus, evolved in cool mountain conditions in Central America and are increasingly grown in Vancouver and other parts of the South Coast of British Columbia (including in containers on roof tops). On this green roof on Vancouver Harbour, stalks grew to over 3 meters in height and produced copious dried beans that were superb for soup. The seeds were plant in the first week in May and the stalks were producing beans until late November. In warmers parts of the South Coast and further south in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the stalks can survive a winter and become perennial.

2016 Feb 9 salmon smoking rack bean trellis montage 1 - Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

2016 February 9 salmon smoking rack bean trellis for scarlet emperor runner beans grown with  squash –  Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

expertise | projects | activism | leadership

My work centres on development, evaluation and teaching (including research supervision) of innovative environmental planning and design methods extending to contemporary visual culture including,

·networks of open space and protected areas especially those initiated by indigenous communities and governments,

·conception, development, and curation of related public, environmental, and site-based art along with photographic document.

·planning and design of cultural infrastructure especially networks of public art in public space often involving indigenous communities,

·biodiversity conservation and related site planning and environmental horticulture,

·urban sustainability strategies and practices and policy for those transitions, and

·critical social and governance theory for open space as part of environmental planning and design.


My technical expertise is in the following fields:

§regional ecosystem recovery strategies and intergovernmental frameworks especially involving indigenous governments;

§environmental and social impact assessment;

§site planning and related environmental horticulture;

§stakeholder analysis especially for historically marginalized demographics such as indigenous communities, women, and cultural and sexual minorities;

§knowledge and priorities of indigenous communities in land use decision-making;

§social and institutional factors in design of public space and related use studies and public consultation;

§sexual minorities, public space and neighbourhoods;

§sustainability strategies and cultural infrastructure;

§best practices and guidelines for sustainability especially certification processes such as LEED and Sustainable Sites and environmental horticulture and agricultural practices;

§remote sensing, GIS, and decision for support environmental assessment, planning and design;

§international instruments of environmental policy including the Convention on Biological Diversity, the World Heritage Convention,and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

§conservation of heritage landscapes and neighbourhoods;

§cultural infrastructure as part of community development and public art and site-based art as part of urban design;

§photographic documentation of communities, environmental concerns and design issues;

§integration of site-based art into public space and broader landscapes; and

§related social and cultural theory extending to art and design criticism.

I am currently studying and engaging in participatory methods and ‘mediation’ in the making of contemporary visual culture as part of deeper engagement with and development of communities.

#6 Utopiana mosaic 6 castle&ingram



  • interventions, spanning performance to public art to urban design and landscape architecture, in public space and related ecosystems
  • configurations of photographic imagery, drawings, and text in both books and other publications and in larger forms in exhibition spaces and installations
  • videos especially heavily edited clips and loops, from old cellphones, installed indoors and outdoors
  • black and white and colour designs and plans for sites and related installations
  • site renderings involving drawings and photographs
  • published articles and books often combining text, photographs, drawings and plans


concerns & practices

  • public art combined with ecological restoration often referencing environmental and cultural histories and the tensions between indigenous, colonial and postcolonial spaces with a focus on the West Coast of Canada
  • Canadian indigenous movements of contemporary site-based and public art with a particular focus on my own heritage, Métis with deep family roots in north-western Canada, and the Coast Salish communities in which I mainly grew up on the south coast of British Columbia
  • photographic and video documentation, renderings, and associated text-based essays of communities, ecosystems, and urban and landscape histories with a thirty year focus on tensions between indigenous, colonial and post-colonial cultural landscapes particularly in British Columbia
  • contemporary multimedia treatments of indigenous traditional knowledge, colonial history and contemporary cultural fusions as played out across communities through networks of public art combining video, photo-based documentation, more subjective photography, drawings, maps, text and live presentations (often rifting on participatory approaches to community development)
  • research on and design responses to gender and sexual politics, decolonial, indigenous, multicultural experiences, and social conflicts in public space represented through photographs, drawing, plans, and digital mapping
  • research methods on the aesthetic dimensions of community histories, cultural landscapes and ecosystems, and related questions of food, crops, species, and cultural aspects of botany and landscapes
  • development and use of archives (increasingly linked through on-line postings and sites) as part of artistic practices and production
  • imaginary and unsolicited designs of networks of open space and associated urban design and public art often employing video, montage, geographic information systems, satellite imagery, visualization and reworking current and discarded digital technologies
  • curating and related research for exhibitions, books, and on-line examinations of communities, ecosystems, and urban and landscape histories

Nearly lost: Four bus-shelter posters re-introducing Vancouver’s Salish fruit trees


Nearly lost: Four bus-shelter posters re-introducing Vancouver’s Salish fruit trees

client / host 
City of Vancouver Public Art Program

initial posters in the ongoing ‘Nearly Lost’ project

4 different posters installed in 20 bus shelters with the poster dimension 47.25 inches x 68.25 inches.

October 10 to November 7, 2016 (with locations attached)

castle grünenfelder ingram (Julian Castle, Alex Grünenfelder, and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram with this project involving conceptualization by all three artists, research, photographing, and initial design conceptualization by Grünenfelder and Brochu-Ingram, text by Brochu-Ingram, and final designs and electronic conveyance by Grünenfelder)

castle grünenfelder ingram is a collective of three working on the cusp of public art, urban design, sustainability transitions, and intercultural conversations especially around First Nations legacies in public space and local territories. Only working together for two years, our individual work in Vancouver goes back decades along with other projects and installations in Kamloops, New York, London UK, Seoul, Geneva, and Prince George.

As one of our projects, we coordinate KEXMIN field station, on Salt Spring Island, as a centre for research and learning spanning traditional indigenous knowledge and contemporary science for environmental planning, ecological design, public art and other forms of contemporary cultural production with a focus on the Salish Sea and its Gulf and San Juan Islands between the mainland of the North American West Coast and Vancouver Island.


text from project proposal

Nearly lost: Re-introducing images of Vancouver’s native fruit trees

We propose large 2D imagery especially at bus stops, with video loop installations also possible for the video screens, of fruit and blossoms of several of the native fruit trees that have existed and continue to survive in the City of Vancouver — and that are of continued interest for First Native use, stewardship, and cultivation. Low resolution photographs would be enlarged, slightly saturated, and ‘montaged’ with educational text in English, Halkomelem (Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh), Swxwú7mesh snichim (Squamish) along with other widely spoken languages, and botanical Latin. For the 2015-2016, we would be able focus on making a number of montage posters celebrating two of the most common native fruit trees and more extensive Salish orchards, Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca, and chokecherry, Prunus virginiana ssp. demissa. Both of this crabapple species and this subspecies of chokecherry are limited to coastal ecosystems in BC, Alaska, and Washington State.


text on posters
Four different posters were installed with large type of,

1. lhexwlhéxw | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

2. t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

3. kwu7úpay (with the ‘k’ underlined and a vertical accent over the ‘y’) | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

4. qwa’upulhp | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

Along with the following headings is the following text for respective poster:

1. lhexwlhéxw | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

One of the Salish names for chokecherry is lhexwlhéxw in the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem language.

2. t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

One of the Salish names for chokecherry is t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) in the Swxwú7mesh snichim language.

3. kwu7úpay (with the ‘k’ underlined and with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

One of the Salish names for Pacific crabapple is kwu7úpay (with the ‘k’ underlined and a vertical accent over the ‘y’) in the Swxwú7mesh snichim language.

4. qwa’upulhp | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

One of the Salish names for Pacific crabapple is qwa’upulhp in the Downriver dialect of Halkomelem language.


For the two posters on chokecherry, there is the following text: Chokecherry has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver.

For the two posters on Pacific crabapple, there is the following text: Pacific crabapple has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver. For the two posters on chokecherry, there is the following text: Chokecherry has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver. For the two posters on Pacific crabapple, there is the following text: Pacific crabapple has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver.

All four posters have the following text: This species is being studied at KEXMIN field station, a centre for conversations spanning traditional indigenous knowledge, modern science, and contemporary art — a project of castle grünenfelder ingram (Julian Castle, Alex Grünenfelder and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram). The following text was provided by the City of Vancouver: Commissioned as part of the series Coastal City for the 25th Anniversary of the City of Vancouver Public Art Program


Inkjet printer on paper photographing
The photographs in the attached images of the posters were photographed jointly by Alex Grünenfelder and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram. All of the photographs of the posters installed in the bus shelters were taken by by Alex Grünenfelder.

fabricators / suppliers
OUTFRONT MEDIA Decaux in cooperation with
the printer, LinxPrint, as service-providers to the City of Vancouver


The Tree Question: Field research & cultivation practices in community-based public art in an age of ecological crises


title of The Tree Question

Gordon Brent BROCHU-INGRAM, KEXMIN field station, Salt Spring Island, Canada

PowerPoint presentation: 2016 April 25 Brochu-Ingram TransHEAD ‘The Tree Question’ PowerPoint

abstract: 2016 April 25 Brochu-Ingram TransHEAD ‘tree’ presentation

bilingual notes: (trad) 2016 April 25 Brochu-Ingram TransHEAD ‘tree’ presentation

2016 April presentation Geneva University of Art & Design

Trans – Mediation, Education, * Haute École d’art et de design Genève HEAD


The Tree Question:

Field research & cultivation practices in

community-based public art in an age of ecological crises



Since the pioneering 1982 intervention by Joseph Beuys, the 7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung) / 7000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration, tree planting, and cultivation more generally, have increasingly become contemporary art practice. Employment of such cultivation interventions, as contemporary art and not as landscape architecture, have nearly always used as a way to challenge particular notions and demarcations of the ‘public’, on one hand, and experiences of communities, landscapes and ecosystems, on the other hand. Such a set of oppositional tactics often contrasts itself with professionalized landscape architecture more often employed to re-enforce the status quo of public space. And since documenta 7, a raft of experimental artists have rifted on notions of agriculture (and silviculture, horticulture, and permaculture) as visual culture most notably Alan Sonfist (et al 2014, Landi 2011), Ron Benner (2008), the Fallen Fruit collective (Goodyear 2012), and Sam Van Aken (Brooks 2014). But precisely how ‘contemporary’ are such tree planting ‘works’ and how are associated practices and conceptualizations changing as ecological crises intensify, as cultural signifiers shift, as access to scientific information increases, and as data sources and ecological and social paradigms diversify? And how do these Western and often Eurocentric aesthetic movements, involving trees and urban space, construct relationships with recoveries and practices of indigenous communities often at odds with modernity?


One point of inquiry is provided by Claire Bishop’s 2012 note that, “Beuys drew a conceptual line between his output as a sculptor and his discursive / pedagogic work” (page 245), the latter including his tree planting. But if cultivation is more of a conceptual disruptor and teaching opportunity than part of artistic production to produce an art work, why does the aesthetic importance of trees for interventions in public space continue to increase? A more problematic and indefinite set of questions derive from the divergent and shifting uses of tree planting in contemporary culture. For example, there is no sign that the 1982 intervention in Kassel was intended to contribute to carbon sequestration or to conserve local habitat and species, or to build community through sharing fruit as in the recent tree planting work in Los Angeles of Fallen Fruit. Today, it would be difficult to plant a tree, as a contemporary art work, without professed relationships to countering climate change, gentrification, and homelessness and contributing to carbon sequestration, food security, and social equity. So like painting, drawing, and sculpture, the basic ‘materials’ of tree planting, however organic, are infinitely pliable — as long as respective organisms and ecosystems can survive and be part of public space. There is an implicit aesthetic of survival.


What are the diverse roles of science in these forms of artistic research? In particular, how does tree-planting-as-contemporary-art challenge, expand, and re-enforce broader art movements such as,

  1. various forms of community participation as art (embodied in the work of Suzanne Lacey and Martha Rosler),
  2. scientific experimentation as in ‘wetware’ and biological modification,
  3. traditional knowledge and other indigenous experiences,
  4. relational aesthetics as new forms of education and community aesthetic engagement, and
  5. micro-urban tactics that transform multiple publics?

Or do the heightened skills and artifice required to sufficiently manipulate a site in deteriorating environments, to insure that trees will thrive, represent another kind of cultivation of culture that signals a new and more tenuous phase of the “Anthropocene” (Wark 2015)? In other words, are the creative perspectives and practices of contemporary artists, particularly collaboratives and collectives, increasingly necessary to keep communities, ecosystems, and public spaces ‘alive’, diverse, and evolving?


Brochu-Ingram presents some early results from some of his ongoing investigations, designs, and interventions in the Vancouver and Geneva regions.



Benner, Ron. 2008. Gardens of a Colonial Present / Jardins d’un Present Colonial. London, Ontario: London Museum.

Beuys, Joseph. 1982. 7000 Eichen – Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung) / 7000 Oaks – City Forestation Instead of City Administration. Kassel, Hesse: documenta 7.

Bishop, Claire. 2012. Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship. New York: Verso.

Brooks, Katherine. 2014. This One Tree Grows 40 Different Types Of Fruit, Is Probably From The Future. The Huffington Post (July 24, 2014)

Goodyear, Dana. 2012. Eat A Free Peach: Mapping “Public Fruit.” The New Yorker (March 12, 2012).

Landi, Ann. 2011. Separating the Trees from the Forest: Alan Sonfist has built a career as an urban land artist. ARTnews (Summer 2011) (POSTED 08/15/11 5:58 PM).

Sonfist, Alan, Wolfgang Becker, and Robert Rosenblum. 2004. Nature, The End of Art: Environmental Landscapes. New York: Distributed Art Publishers.

Wark, Mckenzie. 2015. Molecular Red: Theory for the Anthropocene. London: Verso.

Ecological, ethnobotanical & design studies of wild cherry, Prunus virginiana, and wild crabapple, Malus fusca, on the Gulf Islands

0 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0557

chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 9 through 12, photographs by Alex Grunenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0047




crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0978

Pacific crabapple, qwa’upulhp (in the downriver dialect of Halkomelem), Malus fusca, north of the site of the village of Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 11 & 12, photographs by Alex Grunenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram


crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_1190small


castle grünenfelder ingram: À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting – 2014 – 2016 studies in the Geneva and Vancouver metropolitan regions


The 2014 – 2016 studies, designs and interventions that comprise À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting were originally in response to a call by the Utopiana artist centre for, ‘La Bête et l’adversité’. We explore one ‘beast’ in nature: human memory and the ways that biology, culture and our individual developments mediate what we know of landscapes and how we interact and sometimes transform public spaces. In this context, we explore divergent experiences of the postcolonial world: the Geneva region that was not colonized and has had an uneven relationship with the imperial and modernist projects and the still decolonising Salish Sea region of the South Coast of Pacific Canada and adjacent Puget Sound in the United States of America.

Within these landscapes, we explore and imagine reinserting dwindling populations of wild and traditional tree crops, in the gene pools of

apple and pear,

plum and cherry,

raspberry and blackberry, and

blueberry and cranberry.

Tree fruit in this project also becomes a focus for exploring ecological and cultural legacies and ‘gifts’ within ecosystems with renewed interest in philosophies of gratitude so central to indigenous cultures in the Western Hemisphere. The divergent indigenous cultures of these gene pools, that span both the Geneva and the Vancouver-Seattle regions across Europe, Asia, and north-western North America are reconnoitered. In this way, we critique and begin to decolonise popular and sometimes trite notions of ‘permaculture’, a set of principles and practices for diverse and more sustainable agro-ecosystems by re-centring the roles of traditional knowledge and learning from and respecting local gene pools (and associated human populations).

Initiating our investigations of forgetting, memory and remembrance as an often irascible beast within nature (and human lives), the contributions of Proust, and in particular his now waning modernist notions of the individual, landscape, and desire codified in À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu comprise a key source for understanding the legacies of the colonial projects within Europe and in margins such as Pacific Canada. In understanding this broader loss of memory and ecosystem under modernism and individuals, we construct another aspect of the emerging movement of decolonial aesthetic specifically departing from and ‘rifting’ with Proustian nostalgia. A century ago, Proust’s modernist aesthetics largely obscured labour, ecology, and political economy from experiences of landscapes, agriculture, and indigenous and traditional communities. Today, contemporary aesthetics are back to more fully appreciating cultural legacies in nature as well as the crucial role of traditional knowledge and communities and material relationships more generally.

Our endgame, in À la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting, is to propose and begin to demonstrate some interventions in public space that re-establish small groves of these often declining tree crops. As beneficiaries of the tree planting legacies of artists Joseph Beuys and Alan Sonfist, we argue that agriculture and horticulture embody practices central to the collaborative and community-based impulses in contemporary art. In this work, we are also strongly influenced by the relational aesthetics proposed over a decade ago, that are more concerned with social learning than production of static art objects, and more recent forms of radical materialism centred on cultural cognition of threats to the biosphere and human life support and that in turn challenge to intensifying social inequities.

Just as important as generating a beneficial ecological impact through nurturing traditional local gene pools, habitats and communities, we make ‘installations’ and archives with what we can find from recycled paper and ink to digital photographs, videos and text made with old computers and mobile telephones and reworked versions of software and apps. So in a time of new forms of impoverishment for artists, our approach is aggressive in the mixing of discarded and repurposed media taking inspiration from the minimalism and disregard for polish of the Arte Povera movement of Italy in the 1970s.

This site only holds the work of Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram. Collaborative work completed in this project is posted at

In using this site, the categories listed on the left, seen after further scrolling, link to particular aspects of project development and specific works. Each of these categories represents a longer-term project that we hope to explore more fully in coming years.

Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram


bosque section - presqueperdu Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram (small)


This project was recently approved by Utopiana beginning in August 2014 until late 2015 and a tentative work plan has been approved. A PDF copy of the current work plan is available here. castle-ingram-2014-utopiana-work-plan


PDF available: castle-ingram-2014-proposal-utopiana-geneva3

April 15, 2014 Confirmation letter by the Utopiana arts centre in Geneva for the 2014 – 2015 castle & ingram project described above: 2014-april-15-utopiana-confirmation-letter-for-2014-15-castleingram-geneva-project

castle & ingram West Coast Canada field work for A la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting – a 2014 – 2016 projet pour Utopiana, Genève

The following are some of the graphic examples of the ongoing castle & ingram West Coast Canada field work, in 2014 when not working in Geneva, for the project, A la recherche de certaines récoltes presque perdu: Decolonising permaculture: The greatest adversity comes from forgetting – a 2014 – 2016 projet pour Utopiana, Genève.

This is part of early 2008 – 2010 work on growing crabapple on a green roof near Vancouver Harbour revisited by castle & ingram in 2014.

Ongoing Salt Spring Island field research & development of new field courses in landscape ecology

Salt Spring Island mosaic 2014

Salt Spring Islands, one of the larger of the land masses of the continental archipelago spanning the San Juan and Gulf Islands, is on the northern margins of Oregonia: relatively high latitude, summer-drought often fire-dependent ecosystems under maritime climatic influences that include the erratic ‘Pacific High’. Like the Saanich Peninsula directly to the south, Salt Spring appears to have been colonized by hundreds of Californian in the warm period roughly 4,000 and 5,000 years after the retreat of the ice of the last glacial period. As the decades progress and more field research is conducted, and so far this work has only been in the cursory stages, scores more rare, disjunct, and ‘at risk’ species are being confirmed on Salt Spring. Within the suburbanizing, northern margins of these ecosystems, Salt Spring is a relative refuge for hundreds of species, often associated more with lower latitudes in Oregon and California, with a range of relatively remote land areas and some strategic protected areas. This is much more to learn from these relatively diverse, island ecosystems and shifting landscapes.

I began field work on Salt Spring Island, just eight miles north of where I grew up, in 1979, conducted field research for my MSc thesis in Ecosystem Management, postdoctoral studies through The University of British Columbia, and started teaching field courses in landscape ecology there twenty-five years ago.

So every few years, we find the time for extended field work with this year’s focus on Burgoyne Bay and Mount Maxwell — a biologically rich area, that while largely in protected area status, has seen only cursory biological inventorying and landscape ecology surveying. We hope to continue this field work in coming years as both consulting and teaching and researchers collaborating in the fledgling KEXMIN field station.

As well as renewing baseline work in over ten species at risk, we returned to two indicator species for this complex mosaic of fire-dependent ecosystems spanning shore bluffs, grassland, Garry oak savannah and woodland, and old-growth Douglas fir parkland.

castle & ingram 2014 May 8 Camassia leichtlinii re-establishing in Mt Maxwell ER in the 2009 June 12 - 15 wildfire burn area 1 (small)

Camassia leichtlinii re-establishing half way up the south-west face of Mount Maxwell of Salt Spring Island
In recent decades, the two northern species of camas, Camassia leichtlinii and C. quamash, have been disappearing markedly on Salt Spring Island and other Gulf Islands. Fields of camas were harvested and stewarded by Salish women who have been effectively obstructed from their gardens for more than a century. Similarly, controlled burning based on five millennia of Salish knowledge, and often carefully focused on maintaining sites of camas and other nutritious bulbs, has been outlawed. And sheep grazing, that initially involved Salish engaging in more western agriculture, began in the 1850s and continued until 2001 (even in the original boundaries of the Ecological Reserve) along with a large feral population. And spiking, native deer populations, buoyed by the lack of historical predators and hiking, have grazed remaining the tops of blooming camas bulbs before they have been able to produce seed.

castle & ingram 2014 May 8 Camassia leichtlinii re-establishing in Mt Maxwell ER in the 2009 June 12 - 15 wildfire burn area 2(small)

In this area of Mount Maxwell, where the original Ecological Reserve was established in the early 1970s, Cowichan food gatherers were active and burning until the 1930s. Since then, the Garry oak savannah, the original Salish fields, have grown in to woodland and Douglas fir forest. And in 1980-81, I proposed re-establishment of some controlled burning in this area in a report to the Ecological Reserves Unit of the Province of British Columbia (as part of my M.Sc. thesis in Ecosystem Management).

castle & ingram 2014 May 8 Camassia leichtlinii re-establishing in Mt Maxwell ER in the 2009 June 12 - 15 wildfire burn area 1 (small)

As as the decades have passed, the population of flowering camas on Salt Spring Island have plummeted. Curiously, one of the few signs of any increase in camas populations and ANY reproduction has been seen in the area burned in the June 12 – 15, 2009. What is unclear, after this May 8, 2014 site report, is whether or not there has been an increase in camas throughout the burned areas or just those that saw the application (or more likely lack of application) of fire retardant. Another question is whether or not the seed that was maturing ever became viable or was browsed before.

#1 Pacific dogwood in a rainstorm 2014 May 8 Mt Maxwell Salt Spring Island - castle & ingram #05 (small)

Pacific dogwood, Cornus nuttallii, half-way up the south-west face of Mount Maxwell, Salt Spring Island

At the northern margins of its range, Pacific dogwood, Cornus nuttallii, is a particularly beautiful, and increasingly rare, flowering tree. On the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, ‘dogwood’ is largely confined to the edges of underground streams with year-round moisture but rarely truly riparian. On the south-west face of Mount Maxwell on Salt Spring Island, relatively dry and with soil ph levels relatively higher and less acidic, there is a ‘draw’ that drains a glorious swamp near the top of the mountain (on the summit road about 1 kilometers before the parking lot) and quickly becomes a stream emptying into Burgoyne Bay (about 2 kilometers north along the shore from the Burgoyne public wharf). In 2011, the parcel with lower part of this seasonal stream was finally acquired for protection by Nature Trust and in 2014 was quite drinkable. And going up the stream through the oak meadows this ‘draw’ continues to be full of ‘dogwood’.

#2 Pacific dogwood in a rainstorm 2014 May 8 Mt Maxwell Salt Spring Island - castle & ingram #03(small)

I have been photographing this particular grove of dogwoods, half way up Mount Maxwell, for thirty-five years now. There has been no sign, so far, of the introduced Dogwood anthracnose (dogwood leaf blotch) blights from the introduced fungus Discula destructiva. When finding these trees again, in a violent rainstorm on the 14th of May, 2014, all we had to make photographs were un-smart cellular telephones. But these were the same trees that I photographed decades before with medium-format Rolleiflex and Pentax cameras.

#3 Pacific dogwood in a rainstorm 2014 May 8 Mt Maxwell Salt Spring Island - castle & ingram #01(small)

These photographs were taken in collaboration with Julian Castle. We jointly made these exposures and montages as ‘castle & ingram’.

#4 Pacific dogwood in a rainstorm 2014 May 14 Mt Maxwell Salt Spring Island - castle & ingram #07 (small)

regional knowledge

detail in a pavilion, Hiran Minar, Sheikapura, Pakistan, January 2004, photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

·islands, coastal areas and remaining forested mountains in the Pacific Rim particularly in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, China and more remote parts of the Pacific coast of Canada

·the Sahel of west Africa and, in particular, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and northern Cameroon

·the Pacific coast of North America from Alaska to California

·recent work in Pakistan and nearby in the south-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Oman and the United Arab Emirates


Fountain at dusk, Shalimar Gardens, Lahore, February 2004

photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram


University of California, Berkeley, Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Planning, 1989, Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Environmental Design with a focus on social and institutional factors and related stakeholder analysis in biodiversity conservation and environmental design of public space.

examination fields

·Theories of environmental planning and design (and related ecological design and organizational development) for sustainability transitions

·Environmental impact assessment for community development extending to both natural and social factors

·Conservation planning initiated by indigenous governments for islands with remaining primary rainforest

Ph.D. dissertation

Planning district networks of protected habitat conservation of biological diversity:

A manual with applications for marine islands with primary rainforest.

Available through University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Michigan as dissertation 9006370.

case studies in doctoral research

·Burnaby Island, Gwaii Haanas, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), British Columbia, Canada

·Siberut Island, Sumatera Barat, Indonesia

·Fergusson Island, D’Entrecasteaux Islands, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea

theoretical context of dissertation research

This work was part of the movement to decolonise notions of and institutional frameworks for networks of parks and other protected areas, initiated by Kenyan Walter Lusigi, especially through more fully recognizing ongoing stewartship by indigenous communities, local protection and management concerns, and community development priorities. In this way, the work linked ecological impact assessment and related spatial modelling to the first wave of work on integrating local knowledge into the land use planning and management frameworks of national and provincial governments.

doctoral committee

·Richard Meier, Professor (later Emeritus & now deceased), Department of City and Regional Planning / Department of Landscape Architecture / Department of Architecture, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley

·Ray Dasmann, Professor (later Emeritus & now deceased), Environmental Studies Board, University of California at Santa Cruz

·Bill Lidicker, Professor (now Emeritus), Environmental Sciences, and Director, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley

·Robert Twiss, Professor (now Emeritus), Department of Landscape Architecture, Berkeley

field work as part of doctoral studies

·California 1 year total

·Indonesia 1 year total (mainly Sumatera and the Mentawai Islands)

·Papua New Guinea 6 months total mainly in Milne Bay Province and the D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago

·The Sahel of Africa (Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, northern Cameroon): 1 year total

·Haida Gwaii, Canada 3 months total (linked to earlier MSc field studies of north-eastern Graham Island

additional doctoral research

·Early exploration (in the early 1980s) of the implications of landscape ecology for landscape architecture, regional planning, and sustainability (professors with the most influence: Bill Lidicker and Ray Dasmann)

·Traditional knowledge and ethnobotany combined with studies in environmental horticulture and ecogeographical surveying of crop genepools with field work in Africa and Asia (research supervisor: J. Trevor Williams, PhD, DSc)

·Design of networks ofopen space as part of community planning (professor with the greatest influence: Eldon Beck the original designer of Whistler, British Columbia)

·Design and development of some of the first geographic information systems for biodiversity conservation emphasizing fine-scaled spatial data (beginning in 1983 with the first SUN Workstations used by environmental management GIS and using of UNIX, C,Pascal and GRASS, and early ESRI ARC INFO software) (most influential professor: Dr. Robert Twiss who designed early GIS for regional planning in such areas as Lake Tahoe, California / Nevada)

·Assessment of use and social conflict in parks and other public open space (professor with the greatest influence: Clare Cooper-Marcus)

·Landscape aesthetics and related frameworks for urban and landscape design(professor with the greatest influence: Burt Litton the founder of the United States Forest Services visual resources analysis programmes)

·Photographic documentation of landscapes and communities

·Conservation planning theory and institutional analysis (professor with the most influence: Jeff Romm)

Antioch College (Yellow Springs, Ohio / San Francisco campus), Master of Science in Ecosystem Management, 1981 with a oncentration in Ecological Planning and Design. Major professors were environmental horticulturalist Sheila Darr, William and Helga Olkowski who were early leaders in integrated pest management, ecologist Arnold Schultz, systems and sustainability theorist Loren Cole, and Michael Laurie, a seminal figure on reintroducing nature to cities.Teaching and laboratory facilities were at the Integral Urban House in Berkeley, California.


Fragments: Management, protection and restoration proposals for thirteen ecological reserves in British Columbia, Canada. A report to the Ecological Reserves Committee and Advisory Board of the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing of the Government of BC, June 1981.

Available through University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Michigan, thesis number 1317516. This work focused on the still controversial acknowledgement of indigenous legacies and cultural landscapes in remaining fragments of ‘natural’ ecosystems in three regions of British Columbia: the Gulf Island, the Okanagan, and the lowlands of north-eastern Graham Island of Haida Gwaii.

San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) in Photography, 1980, with an emphasis on documentation of landscapes, communities and environmental conflicts with a particular interest in two topics: traces of indigenous communities in so-called natural landscapes and portraiture of gay males at a time of greater visibility and militancy. My major teachers were the following:

1.Reagan Louie, author of the 1991 Aperture book, Towards a Truer Life, portraying urban space in China after the Cultural Revolution;

2.Linda Connor, author of Solos; and

3.Ellen Brooks.

The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington, Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, 1976, with related studies in environmental design and aesthetics. Final project for degree: Northern Garry Oak Ecosystems in British Columbia and the Puget Sound. The most influential of my teachers were the following:

1.Mary Nelson an early Salish theoretician of contemporary art (as situated within the cosmologies of traditional landscapes) who also advised on some early field work on Haida Gwaii;

2.Pacific Northwest historian Matt Smith who arranged and supervised a research internship focused on environmental and land use history for me with the The New Democratic Party Caucus of the British Columbia Legislature when that party formed the government under Premier Dave Barrett including formative mentoring from two ‘backbencher’ Members of the Legislature, early African Canadian feminist figure, Rosemary Brown, and future party leader, Bob Skelly;

3.anthropologist Peggy Dickinson who supervised research in landscape aesthetics and who arranged some research with early theoretician on Salish graphic representation, Bill Holmes; and

4.biologist Dave Milne an early figure in research on the terrestrial-marine interface of the San Juan Islands of Washington and the adjacent Gulf Islands.

secondary school

·New Community School, Oakland, California, 1971-1972, secondary school graduation on scholarship, university preparatory, with activities including chairing the schools Social Action Committee and field studies in the Sierra Nevada Range of California.

·Oak Bay Junior Secondary School, Victoria, 1967 – 1971, Honour Roll.