Exhibitionists·Video

With his street murals and wood-soaked interiors, Ottawa artist Arpi lets nature bloom everywhere

From painting street art to re-purposing materials to design interiors full of natural elements, Arpi is trying to focus our eyes on the beauty of nature.

Arpi wants us to focus our eyes on the beauty of nature

(CBC Arts)

Arpi likes to call the wood he's used in a recent interior "neighbourwood." The Ottawa-based artist says, "I call it 'neighborwood' because it's basically wood from the neighborhood. I thought it was like a friendly neighborwood, like good wood from the hood."

Arpi brings this spirit of positivity and good cheer to all the work he does — and, incidentally, that work revolves around nature. In this video made by filmmaker Nicholas Castel, you'll meet the frenetic and fast-talking artist at work. He explains how his love of everything natural was pumped up by stints tree planting, where he met a bear and discovered the resilience of wildlife. And back in the city, Arpi found that taking over empty spaces to re-design them with wood and elements that would have normally ended up in a landfill actually encourages others to try the same.

Watch the video:

Ottawa-based artist Arpi loves nature, and he's telling you how it ends up in both his street art and his interiors. Filmmaker: Nicholas Castel 11:07

Arpi believes we all have the power to have an impact on the planet. He says, "Damage that we've done, again, it's out of our control. But the stuff that's going on today — as infinite as the world is for us individuals — as a civilization it's finite. But we're also all unique in the sense that we all evolve in a unique setting and that uniqueness, that's your place in society. So that's what you can bring: to know who you are to be able to be a part of the bigger picture."

Arpi's doing it with wood and plants, but he's open to you finding your own way.

(CBC Arts)

This video is part of a recent episode of Absolutely Canadian, where you get to meet four artists working with nature in and around Ottawa. Stay tuned to the CBC Arts feed for one more segment from this episode of Absolutely Canadian.

You can find out more about Arpi here.

(CBC Arts)

Stream CBC Arts: Exhibitionists or catch it on CBC Television Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT). Watch more videos here.

About the Author

Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.

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