New Exhibition Shows the Forest as a Place of Transformation

Rita Leistner, Matthew Muzzatti, 2016, photo.

Rita Leistner: The Tree Planters

April 29th – July 17th, 2022

The Tree Planters, featuring work by award-winning photographer Rita Leistner, is the culmination of a four-year project in which Leistner joined a group of tree planters in Northern British Columbia. During this time, she documented their experiences, impact, and intense working conditions. 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. Two Rivers Gallery is grateful to be the first gallery in Canada to showcase the breadth of this acclaimed project.

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.

Rita Leistner has dedicated her career to the documentation of communities in extreme conditions, from conflict zones in Iraq and Afghanistan to First Nations communities in the Arctic. As a veteran tree planter, Leistner has an intimate understanding of the value that community plays in the intense working conditions of tree planters and is uniquely able to highlight both their individual and collective strengths.

Exhibition Opening
Please join us at Two Rivers Gallery for an artist talk with Rita Leistner on Thursday, April 28th at 7:30pm followed by an opening reception. Leistner’s book, Forest for the Trees, which contains photographs and stories from this project, will be available for purchase at Two Rivers Gallery’s Gift Shop following the artist talk.

Film Screening
Leistner’s film Forest for the Trees shares some of the process behind this body of work and gives voice to the tree planters who made it all possible. The film was a finalist for Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Documentary at the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards and won Audience Feature Favourite at the Victoria Film Festival. It will be screened at 7:30pm on Friday, April 29th at the College of New Caledonia. Tickets are available for purchase in person at the Gallery and online at Follow us or sign up for our newsletter to learn about additional screenings and events related to this exhibition in the coming months.


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