Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Time and the Place: Niagara Peninsula

The ‘setting’ of this monumental painting is the Niagara Peninsula, in Ontario, Canada.

In its early stages – a set of charcoal sketches – one of the panels included an aerial view of the area around Brock University and a rendition of the Skyway bridge near St. Catherines, among others.

For anyone who has ever driven on the Skyway bridge at 100 km/hr, which is how this crossing happens, even on a day of black ice and heavy snow falls, at the height of a Canadian winter, the boundless serenity of landscape and water, in the constant shifting of winds and in the speed of the movement, is not something that is easily forgotten.

It will be interesting to see how the dual nature of the Niagara Peninsula - its torrential & thundering movement of people and cities (like the waters of the Falls themselves) and the dreamy mists of greenery above its bike lanes and winery paths – will appear in the final painting.

The “time” of this history painting is a continuous timeline that meanders through a collective memory of the Niagara Peninsula: the war 1812 (detail shown above)– whose bicentennial anniversary is approaching –the contemporary times of the first president of Brock University and the ‘here and now’ of the region.

In a future post I will start writing about who’s who in this monumental painting.

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