Rita Leistner | The Tree Planters: Selection of Work on Display

13 October - 3 November 2022 

Exhibition Dates: October 13 – November 3, 2022.


The gallery is please to present a selection from Rita Leistner’s series The Tree Planters, on display in our reading room. Presented in congruence with the premiere of Rita’s film Forest for the Trees at the Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival on October 13th, 2022.


Full festival passes and single day tickets, click here.


Canadian artist Rita Leistner uses photography and film to create portraits of communities in extreme conditions—such as soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, female patients at psychiatric hospitals in war-time, First Nations communities in the Arctic, women wrestlers in the United States, and loggers in Canada—exploring themes of purpose, struggle, and belonging. Each unique world shapes her conceptual approaches and aesthetic styles, resulting in distinctive, large bodies of work that merge art and documentary and often consist of books or films in addition to photographs for installation and exhibition. She typically invests months or years in a project. In 2016, she began photographing and filming professional tree planters in the rugged backwoods of Canada. Leistner herself is a veteran tree planter—before becoming an award-winning war photographer, she planted over 500,000 trees in Canada from 1984-93. “The Tree Planters” exhibition premiered in Toronto on October 21, 2017 at the Stephen Bulger Gallery.


“The Tree Planters” consists of a major exhibition, a feature documentary film, Forest for the Trees (Fall 2020) and a 220-page book with a Foreword by Canadian filmmaker Don McKellar (Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK, Spring 2021).