2005 Nightland

Over the last decade, the theme of landscape has figured strongly in my work. For me, landscape grounds us as individuals. We are of land. And like our first home where we grew up is deeply etched in our being. I am not interested in depicting actual scenes of an identifiable locale. My landscapes may draw from natural phenomena or sites, but are created and conceived to capture something “other”. My investigations of landscape are undoubtedly linked to issues of belonging. But belonging to what? Feeling at home where? I have sought to develop a language of landscape that would deal not with the picturesque, but with an extremity within the land that pulls me…… I developed an artistic vocabulary of landscape that included natural elements and phenomena such as fire, water, smoke, ash, mist, and black lava.

The most extreme and physically provocative place I visited was Iceland. The scenery was sublime, but it didn’t feel like an earthly landscape, but rather like another planet. I shot a lot of rolls of film and after returning to Montreal, the features of the Icelandic landscape became the starting point for my Nightland drawings. They are 14 large scale drawings, oil sticks on Mylar. Their subject is the depiction of an empty, desolate, nighttime places. Nightland is an imaginary place but also a psychological state. This place is ruled by darkness but there is promise of spiritual reprieve. The light that fights the darkness represents the embodiment of human hope and aspiration amidst violence and destruction.