David Blackwood Prints of Newfoundland

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Date: May 3, 2013 - September 8, 2013

Curated by Katharine Lochnan and organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario

David Blackwood is one of Canada’s leading printmakers and most popular artists. He has been telling stories about Newfoundland in the form of epic visual narratives for over 30 years.

This exhibition showcases many of his iconic works, revealing the richness of Blackwood’s imagination and his working methods. It also includes historical artifacts and archival material from the artist's own collection, creating an experience thatdraws on childhood memories, dreams, superstitions, legends, the oral tradition, and the political realities of the Wesleyville community on Bonavista Bay where Blackwood was born and raised.

Black Ice situates Blackwood's distinctive visual narratives within the context of the history of Newfoundland and Labrador, drawing attention to his examination of the grand theme of survival in an inhospitable landscape. In his consideration of a centuries-old way of life that is now quickly disappearing, he incorporates issues of class, gender, immigration, settlement, intergenerational struggle, and religious & political tensions that introduce his viewers to the specifics of Newfoundland's situation while offering points of entry that are universal in their appeal.

Although we live in a very different time and geography than Blackwood’s Newfoundland, there is, perhaps, something in our island experience and maritime history that makes his work resonate very deeply here.

David Blackwood, Fire down on the Labrador, 1980, etching and aquatint on wove paper, 87.9 x 61.9, Gift of David and Anita Blackwood | Art Gallery of Ontario

David Blackwood, Fire down on the Labrador, 1980, etching and aquatint on wove paper, 87.9 x 61.9, Gift of David and Anita Blackwood | Art Gallery of Ontario