Ingrid Koivukangas
Environmental Artist

Responding to sites around the world through works created in site specific installation, intervention, ephemeral sculpture, video, sound, web, permanent site-specific sculpture, photography, printmaking,painting & drawing.

Welcoming opportunities to work in different geographic regions & locations in the world, creating site-specific works in response to the land.



Click on the photos below to go to each page

Microscopy Work:

Follow the link above to go to 90 cellular images - once the page loads, you will be able to open each image in its own window

Cellstars - Astro/Cell Video Projection:

The Cellstars video is projected at 11' across on the gallery wall so that the cellular views (human and botanical) are the same size as the astrophotography of galaxies -- the viewer is dwarfed by the size of the images


Starfloats - Site Specific Intervention:

(Photo: Michelle Sylliboy)
Visit the Starfloats site (download map below). During the day the Starfloats are visible and appear slightly yellow as they are painted with phosphorescence inside and store the suns energy during daylight. At dusk they will softly glow for 2-2.5 hours after the sun goes down.

Map to Starfloats site


Some Gallery Installation views:

Viewing Stations

Viewing Stations with CellStars video in background

Photo: Carie Helm

Photo: Il Soo Kyung McLaurin



Cell Prints with Viewing Stations & CellStars video in background

Photo: Carie Helm

Photo: Carie Helm

Click image below to order a print....

Education Gallery
Interactive space with microscopes, aerial photos, maps, website with links to space and biology sites facilitated by Nan Capogna

Photo: Carie Helm

Photos: Il Soo Kyung McLaurin

Read articles on theFinn Slough Project:

Georgia Straight, Robin Laurence

Richmond News, Michelle Hopkins

Richmnd Review, Mary Gazetas



Astronomy, Space, Biology, Science, Readings






Finn Slough Project
Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC

Finn Slough is a bio-diverse area that not only shelters eagles, herons, ducks, muskrats, raccoons, and frogs but also the people who have chosen to live in the tidal wetlands, living in harmony with, and by their presence, protecting one of the last tidal villages on the West Coast. I have tried to find a balance in how I would normally work at a site - in virtual seclusion with not many, if any, other people around (unless I’m teaching a workshop on environmental art where we work in a small group) and the Slough being a community. I have tried to be aware of issues of privacy, being sensitive to bringing an awareness to viewers of the site and how it’s connected to a much larger whole. I hope through this new work to bring the viewer an awareness of not only Finn Slough, but also the larger world and their connection to it, while sparking a chord of magic, of wonder, of awe. I believe that when we can remember how it felt to be a child, when we can tap into our earliest memories of discovery, when we can remember that we are not separate and apart from all other things in this world and universe, then, and only then, can we begin to create much needed and long-lasting changes in the environment. Once we can honour a site, a village, a country, a world, how can we not protect it?

Much of my previous work is based on my working intuitively with site energies, through dreams, impressions, my personal understanding of place and unseen connections to place. I began to wonder how I could bring this awareness of being connected to sites, to the world, to everything around us in a visually ‘provable’ manner. I am not a scientist, but I am very interested in many different areas of science. I decided to explore the site on a micro/macro level, beginning with microscopy work and then onto astronomy. I was interested in discovering where we humans, the natural world and the stars begin to resemble each what point do we appear the same and not different from each other. I have always been astonished that we carry stardust within our bodies, as well as the dust of our ancestors and every living being that has inhabited this earth. We are physically of this Earth, this Universe, bound by the makeup of our physical bodies.

Mathematics has always been a factor in my work, from Fibonacci spirals to golden rectangles and spirals to the significance of individual numbers. The Finn Slough Project is based on circles and the numbers 33, 66 and 99. There are 33 cellular images, 66 viewing circles that contain cells and natural materials and 99 glass balls at the site. The number 33 is a master number and symbolizes truth; 66 represents the cosmic mind and 99 illumination and universal awareness.

Cellprints: I did not know what to expect when I began working in the Biology Lab at Langara College - I’d seen cellular images but they had been taken by experienced biologists. I am not a scientist nor a trained biologist. I was in awe when I began to see the images emerging from within each of the slides I prepared. I took over 600 photographs during 25 hours of lab time -- from these images 33 are presented as part of this exhibition. I did not use stains when preparing the slides, I wanted to preserve the actual colour and depth of the cells I was looking at. Most of the images were taken at 100x and then zoomed into further with a digital camera. These 33 prints are not intended to be seen as scientific slides - although each image provides a glimpse into the world of cells. It was amazing to me that cellular images often resonated and repeated the structure found in the original parent sample.

Anthropologist Jeremy Narby writes in the Cosmic Serpent that cells communicate with each other. When I read this I wondered if this communication on a cellular level is what I was feeling when I was in the lab, completely in awe, often with tears in my eyes, feeling something visceral that I couldn’t quite put into words...were my cells in communication with the cells I was observing? I like to think so. In Mind Over Genes: The New Biology, Dr. Bruce Lipton writes that our physical bodies are composed of fifty trillion single cells. Dr. Masaru Emoto, author of Hidden Messages in Water, has proven that our thoughts and words can affect the shape and size of water crystals. If our thoughts can change the crystals in water, and we contain trillions of cells, how are our thoughts affecting everything around us -- water, cells, air, the physical world?

Cellstars: Astrophotographer Chuck Webb, with the Fraser Valley Astronomical Society, gave me permission to use his photographs for the Finn Slough Project. Cellstars, the video projection, utilizes cellular and astro images that breathe in and out of each other. The cellular images are from plants and humans and the star galaxies from thousands of light years away - at times it’s hard to know which you are looking at.

Viewing Stations: I wanted to share with viewers the natural materials that the cellular images originate from - some of them obviously reference their parent but others have a more subtle connection. The 66 viewing stations are presented in a manner that is easy to access, in a double line each 360" long and includes magnifying glasses for viewers to take a closer look.

Starfloats: the site work at Finn Slough, consists of 99 small replicas of Japanese glass float balls and not only connects the site to the stars, moon and the gallery but also honours the site’s history as a fishing village. The interior of each glass ball is coated with phosphorescent paint, made of non-toxic, rare earth pigments. There are 99 Starfloats suspended in the trees at the point, above the “No Wake” sign at the entrance to Finn Slough. The sun/light will charge them and they will softly glow for 2 - 2.5 hours in the dusk/dark before fading away. The glass balls reference some of the cellular images, like the lichen and elderberry, as well as the moon and stars.
Ingrid Koivukangas, March 2007

Special thanks to Langara College’s Biology Department, Langara Research Grant Committee, Surjeet Sidhu, Michelle Sylliboy, Sarah Phillips, Doug Phillips, Anne Koivukangas, Michelle McLean and Chuck Webb, Fraser Valley Astronomical Society.




©Ingrid Koivukangas 2007


Copyright 2005 Ingrid Koivukangas, all rights reserved