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Templin Gardens (a passage through)

Templin Gardens (a passage through)

Templin Gardens (a passage through time)

Graphite, Ink, Pyrography

10 ½ x 13 ½ inches

Interested in the fluency of movement and its impression, I draw in a slow progressive way, mindful in my approach and sensations of drawing. My interest in tactility began when I was very young. My parents gave me a paintbrush to mark the rocks with water. The smooth rock ran into the water beside our campsite where we spent entire summers every year. I would dip my brush in the water of the lake and spend hours painting on the nearby rock. Creating waterfalls sometimes from the excess water my brush released and watching it find the few cracks and crevices to flow back down to the lake. I watched my drawings evaporate and disappear from the sun again and again. What I remember the most is what the water felt like on the varied surfaces, it was easy and sometimes more difficult depending on the roughness.

I wish I could have seen the original construction of the Templin Garden limestone stairs, what a feat that would have been to build against the bank of the Grand River about 100 years ago, before many of the conventions that would ease the process today.

I realize that landmarks or cultural heritage properties such as this must already provoke such emotional significance for so many people. The wedding photos, kisses on the moonlit steps, or perhaps children throwing rocks into the water and giggling. Many things must have happened in the 100 years of existence. I think this landscape is intriguing for this reason alone and for me this man-made construction signifies many topics that capture my attention without paying much homage. I am lucky to live in a place full of such rich history and I spend hours of time among the buildings and constructions considering those who enjoyed the same spaces before me.

I began this drawing by highlighting or even amplifying the cracks and crevices of the limestone construction and how it has deteriorated over the years. As I drew my sinuous lines with fluid ink, I imagined how the water would have flowed through the cracks and crevices from a good rainfall or snowmelt to further erode the limestone. It was easy to imagine this flow after hours of observations as a child. Also bringing to mind how the surface would change in colour when the water would evaporate from the sun. I further allude to the idea of water in my subtle burnings. Burnings on paper eventually fade in time like the evaporation of water.

Our man made structures are as ephemeral as trees, as I drew I considered that this breakdown of structure occurred only in the last 100 years and had already fallen into disrepair once before the 1980’s. Hardly amazed by the vegetation and trees attempting to reclaim the land and push these creations to the side, they become part of the landscape. If left to their own devices they would have taken over the structure years ago.

The flowing lines and solid shading highlights my interest in the contrast between the upward and downward movement of the space, as well as, how solid and static the rocks and their surfaces feel in comparison. In this drawing, full of movement with lines, I reach to achieve an awareness that this upward and downward movement is weighed by the heaviness of the stone structure. By shading in graphite several surfaces in a mindful, intentional way I hope to achieve such weight without taking away from the movement of lines,space and flow of water.

In the blank space of the paper I intentionally left out the surrounding landscape and sky that gives so much meaning to the structure. You have to travel there to hear/feel the roar of the river in your chest. To understand the significance erosion played to the surrounding banks and therefore realize the entire significance of water and sun on the landscape. Just like many of my drawings of trees I invite the viewer to explore the space for themselves with new eyes and appreciation.

I often ask myself, What effects are made on the physical environment and in return how do our surroundings affect us?

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