Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Thoughts about canoes

I was thinking about Peter Doig's painting (below) today because I was looking for imagery of Canadian vacation destinations.
Peter Doig, No Foreign Lands
There is something ominous about this image. The isolation of the figure, the ambiguity of the space, the barren bit of island in the background. I love the stillness, the silence. The only sounds would be the water rippling against the side of the canoe, and maybe the wind. I always thought it funny that the boat was so long, but perhaps the lone figure is actually the last survivor of the journey. That might explain the androgenous quality: long hair, beardy, emaciated, woman's dress? There are no paddles visible. The water almost seems like cement. The title makes me think of early explorers conquering and naming everything theirs eyes fell upon. But it also a bygone era and as Canadians, our heritage. I wonder what the equivalent will be when we start to colonize our nearby planets and star systems?

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