• Erasure

    Kym Greeley is a visual artist from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Working primarily with paint, her work re-addresses the genre of landscape — a practice that has a strong visual iconography in her home province. Unlike the often-expressed sentimentality of the genre, Greeley minimalizes the affective dimension of her landscapes by mixing screen-printing techniques back into painting, thereby loosening the grip of the emotive hand.

    In Greeley’s new body of work, Erasure, she highlights titles like “Remember the Good Things”, “No Point In Coping” and “It's Later Than You Think”. With literal sharp focus, she unfurls the iconic Trans Canadian Highway onto the canvas, painting largely in dichotomous grey-scale. She points to the ways in which the perceived landscape can be formulaic by accenting the small highway signs in brash wallows of orange and pink in her work. Yet, these colors cannot eclipse the overall darkness of the scenes on view.

    The Highway is an index in these works and as Greeley pronounces, becomes “possibly the icon of contemporary, post-Confederation Newfoundland.” Pointing to History — of a province, of a specific time, of a dream landscape that evokes the rigid structure of a video game, the Highway here is fodder for the larger cultural imaginary. In Erasure, the head-on perspective suggests a depth that cannot be fathomed. Perhaps there has been an effacement of kinds; yet the sharply rendered painting technique does not suggest a nostalgic outlook. The result is double-ended: the Highway as a trampoline for reverie, but also the Highway as absence, lost somewhere along the 900-kilometer stretch of road that cuts across that place, that island called Newfoundland.

    Vicky Chainey Gagnon

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