In The Lap of the Earth

The paintings in this section are related to places on the west coast of Vancouver Island: the Megin River in Clayoquot Sound, the Walbran valley, and the inlets of Nuchatlitz, Kyuquot, and Zeballos. Flood Tide and Archipelago are drawn from the Broughton Archipelago, a necklace of islands and tidal channels between Alert Bay on the north-east coast of Vancouver Island and the mainland.

This coast has had a sombre history during the past two hundred years: destruction of the forest and rich salmon rivers and dispossession of the aboriginal nations living in these places. Stripped of memory, this landscape became misrepresented as wilderness and an empty land. Most of the old forests have been cut in my lifetime. Resource towns built along the coast during the past hundred years of industrial extraction are today being abandoned. Painting this landscape now is necessarily a meditation, a slow recollection of ‘what happened in this place’. That memory hovers over the earth, inhabits every hollow, touches every headland and inlet.