Recently I had the pleasure of participating in the The Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition: Tradition Transformed. You can read about the history of this exhibition, now in its 14th year, here.
All the things we see in life, we see in art. However, not all of the things presented in art can be found in life. The impossibleness of some of the work is central to its lucidity – Jane Austen’s “Wave Action” or Carolyn Doucette’s “Great North American Landscapes Vol. 2 #2 (Pender Island, BC)” are fine examples. I am reminded of a quote: ” These things, because they are false, are closer to the truth” Baudelaire, in “Salon of 1859 ” (Paris).
Recording and memory plays a central theme in many of these works. Peter Adams’ “Earth Scars #5: Diavik Diamond Mine” and “On the Road to Lavender” (those clouds!) serve as records – defying everything that has happened since while Jim Hake’s crumpled postcards, and Megan Moore’s digital sleight of hand “September 7th 1940” involve us in fictional nostalgia.
Sometimes the landscape has disappeared. Other times, it is the art or artist or subject. My own work, “Blood Lake” shown above, and not a part of this show, is a piece that exists only in digital form as I painted over this painting of a few years back. When I painted over it, largely in white, the reds, still wet, seeped into the new image – one set of thoughts bleeding into another. I see the pink and think about the buried memories, my dead father, the dead moose – things once captured, things now lost.
The Orillia Museum of Art and History has now produced a catalogue for this show, available in electronic form, that allows readers to an overview of contemporary Canadian art, much of it dealing with “landscape”. You can find a link to this e-catalogue HERE.
At the end of the catalogue you can read about the jurors/artists Tanya Cunnington and Bewabon Shilling. Bewabon Schilling is represented by Roberts Gallery in Toronto. Tanya Cunnington is an artist and gallery owner – if you are in Orillia and wish to continue your journey through the woods of Canadian art I think a trip to her gallery “Lee Contempoarary Art” is a must.
Finally, all of these works, when shown, were for sale, and a price list can be found at the back of the e-catalogue. I invite you to locate these artists and their amazing works and to stake a claim on a vision of Canadian-ness.