24.6.09

prairie long poems

magnus/cathedral. Fifth in this series, and took a little time to get done! (click on the image to see it better). Also screenprinting and drawing on plywood and steel (the steel is also etched). The two outside images originated from a camping trip I took a year ago to the Fraser River grasslands area in British Columbia, Canada, just west of the small town of Clinton. The area is not easily accessible as much of it is used as grazing land by ranchers in the area, so it's polite, if not completely necessary, to ask them for permission to go onto the land and to sometimes unlock gates for vehicular access. Getting down to the actual river is also not easy, as the grasslands are terraces of glacial moraine deposited in what is now the Fraser River valley, which have been deeply cut into by the river. The area is quite arid, and what grasses do grow are sparse most of the year and mixed in with a variety of small but very sharp cacti. The best way to get around is on foot, with tough boots of course, or on horseback, but the trip is worth it. I noticed with growing curiosity that every few miles there would be a small hut which most Canadians would recognize as of standard campsite outhouse design. The story goes that there were plans by the government to develop a park in this area, which did not happen, thankfully, as the ecosystem is extremely delicate. Nevertheless, outhouses had been ordered (our governments always know where their priorities lie!), which arrived in town and had no place to go, so to speak. Local ranchers offered to take them off the government's hands, for a reasonable price of course, and now use them to store mineral blocks that their cattle and other wildlife need to supplement their diets. In the beautifully sparse landscape the little buildings have the presence of a kind of perfectly functional architecture, almost like the simple churches that the pioneers in this area tended to build. It seemed that the central image, which is the front door of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney, would be appropriate in this study of (a)symmetry...St Magnus, of course, completely dominating its small town for almost a thousand years.

2 comments:

tracy said...

this piece looks fantastic!

basha said...

Hi Gordon - can you please contact me ?-
bashaprints @whitepaintstudio.com

This print is wonderful; I also have a question for you, not sure how to contact you thru blogspot. . .
thanks,
linda