|Jim Reid – (Un)cultivatedNovember 9 – December 15, 2013
Reception: 2 – 5 pm, Sat, Nov 9
Jim Reid’s paintings assert a masculinity tied to the harsh ruggedness of the Canadian wilderness. Continuing the tradition of historic Canadian painters such as the Group of Seven, Reid seeks to carve out an identity for art and painting within this country by accessing the unruly power of its wilderness. In (Un)cultivated, Reid creates paintings that document the shifting ecology of Central Ontario, tracing our cultural identity as it is reflected in the impact we have on our landscape.
Since the 1980s, Reid has chronicled the ebb and transformation of the Canadian Shield and Niagara Escarpment’s old-growth forest. The title (Un)cultivated reflects his engagement with areas which were once altered for farming or heavily landscaped but have today reverted to wilderness. Several paintings are products of a recent residency which linked McMaster University’s Fine Art and Biology departments: the “Plein Air Project” centered around a site near Dundas, Ontario.
“What is exciting to me is the energy of the constant transformations and upheavals that have been taking place on this terrain,” Reid explains. “The land started as old-growth forest (which is still present on the margins), was cleared for farming in the 19th century, was later abandoned, and is now being re-colonized in a chaotic melee. The formerly groomed fields are now an ecological battlefield where overgrown grasses try to maintain their place against invading brambles and young trees. …These paintings tap into the tumultuous energies of the place and reflect the transformations that are occurring there.” He is particularly interested in the invasion of aggressive new species into Ontario forests that have few natural controls, if any, and are the are the front line, charging forward into the future and changing a landscape that has been quintessential to modern and historical Canadian art.