Land and Place
Heroic images of voyagers and the Group of Seven’s pristine landscapes are often considered mapped directly onto a Canadian sense of place and identity. But is this perspective true of all people in a nation’s experience? Jin Me Yoon places her community, family and self into a romantically expansive Lauren Harris painting, while artists like
Elinor Whidden, Terrance Houle and Trevor Freeman retrieve the icon of the canoe from Canadian textbooks, literature and visual culture to place it in landscapes very different from those swept by the great northern winds. Both Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov‘s colour bars and Ian Baxter&’s reflective souvenirs breach the representational surface between the self and the natural, allowing the artist and viewer to see themselves within and complicit with, rather than separate from and alien to, notions of the ‘environment.’
The last two photos are of students in a residency using reflection and colourful interventions in a local landscape to see and place themselves within a small piece of Canada.
In 1974, Michael Morris and Vincent Trasov experimented with colour in the landscape in ways very different from the Group of Seven.
Jeff Wall‘s landscapes function through conventions of realism in photography to intentionally incorporate seemingly artificial irritants in the Canadian landscape.
Canadian First Nations artist Kent Monkman puts incongruous figures and objects into the tradition of Western landscape painting.
And for a bit of fun, check out some anonymous window marker art, which makes the best out of the everyday windowed landscapes.