Almonte’s Mississippi River: Points of View
“When preparing this series of work, I took on three challenges. The first was to create work that would be ‘local’ in theme. The second was to explore a different medium. The third was to ‘do a 180’ – diverge from the abstract mode I have been exploring these past few years and return to representation. Why? These kinds of challenges are like taking a cold shower: I wake up, gain new skills, and challenge myself to new ways of seeing.
The river that runs through Almonte belongs to all of us and none of us. It is precious, and powerful. Of late, the future of Almonte’s Mississippi has been the focus of much emotion, discussion, and controversy. Though it has been difficult, it has forced the members of this community to wake up and ask ourselves what the river means to us, and what we want it to ‘look like’ in the future. Important questions. It is essential that the solution benefits the residents of Almonte for years to come.
Because I live within walking distance of the river, I engage with it on a daily basis. I have paddled and swum in its waters. Last winter I decided to paint some of the typical vistas of the river as it runs through the downtown area. As I began to take photos (in -30C weather!) I became more conscious of the way the Mississippi and its banks intersect with the bridges, automobiles, humans, the sky, and the architecture. If you have never stood on the railway bridge to take a ‘360 degree’ turn – it’s a must. In fact, the most impressive thing to me is that the four bridges crossing the Mississippi allow us to view the town from many different levels and angles. One can see the front of buildings from one direction, and the backs and sides of buildings from another. All kinds of materials come together along its banks; stone, metal, cement, wood, organic material, snow and ice. With the changing light and seasons, there is never a dull moment.” – Jen Noxon, 2015
Process: This series of digital paintings were done from scratch on my iPad, with an app called Procreate, a conductive brush, and my fingertips.
Materials: Printed on an Epson 9900 archival eleven-coloured (pigment) printer, lightfast for 200+ years. Printed on 20 x 24″ archival, acid free 100% cotton fine art paper.
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