Boundless is a two-phase body of large-scale oil paintings that I worked on between 2007 and 2010, in which I reference cloud masses, dramatic weather systems, and limitless geographical horizons as I’ve witnessed in Southern Saskatchewan and Alberta. The experience of being within that infinite space tethers and perhaps diminishes us, yet also exhilarates and fulfills us by igniting the imaginative leap. The first phase of paintings was rooted in a single, 5-part panorama called Boundless: the view from here, and the second phase was called Boundless: Sublime Maelstrom completed during a residency at the Banff Centre.
The paintings in the Boundless series are expansive, stylized representations that are as much metaphors for spiritual longing as they are portraits of a magnificent geography and I use them as icons to convey ideas about boundlessness: The concept of “boundless” is a sublime one that has been universal since the beginning of conscious thinking; The word chaos has been used to describe this boundless space, this void, this deep, and draws its twofold meaning from the ancient Greek word “cha” – holding and releasing. In this way, I embrace more affirmative definitions of chaos, as a state of being that is rife with change, upset and yet also, potential.
In 2008 I was awarded a Canada Council Grant to develop the second phase of the Boundless series, and I spent part of that summer taking research photographs from my car as I travelled across the southern band of Alberta and Saskatchewan. It was a summer marked by awesome storms and dramatic meteorological activity, and I became all too aware of how, with each passing season, these powerful forces of nature are multiplying in tandem with our compromised environment. The resulting spectacle of the skies offers a palpable signifier of the seismic shift in our actual physical place in this universe, inextricably linking the part we play now, with all and future ways.
Boundless: Sublime Maelstrom
Art Gallery of Regina, December 2009
Cube Art Gallery, Ottawa, January 2011
Rotunda Gallery, Kitchener, March 2012
Boundless: the view from here
Rotunda Gallery, Kitchener, 2007