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 Lawren 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.
Indigenous artist Rebecca Belmore’s Wave Sound includes a cone-shaped sculpture, reminiscent of a listening horn, which amplifies the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore of Gros Morne National Park.
And for more reflections, Anish Kapour’s Sky Mirrors turn simple reflections into inverting portals.