Any thoughts of my painting are out of context when not considered through the lens of where the images come from. In 1996 I went as far back in the woods as I could to begin construction on what is affectionately called "the cabin". In conceptual terms, it might be referred to as an "installation" and my inhabiting it, the cutting of wood, etc...as an elaborate "performance piece". To simply see the paintings is only part of the story, and as such is somewhat uninformed.
The cabin, its various evolutions, and my studio there, is central to the work in this show. Traditionally, conceptual work is often surrounded by text, video, and people who do not see painting as a viable method of communication - or at best a hopelessly dated one. I have painted since I was a child, and do not feel any other means of expression is honest for me. If my fate is to produce naïve and dated painting concerns associated with early 1900s Canadiana, so be it. For me, anything else is false and pretentious. I encountered a lot of it during my BFA at NSCAD. The conceptual movement at the time was like a life raft for those who discovered they could not draw ... they might be able to write a good essay, but cabin building, bush life, and actually rendering things was a bridge too far. However, the basic tenant of the movement, which I took to mean it takes more imagination to lead an interesting life than any object you could make, holds validity.
Landscape painting might be likened to a game of chess ...a series of choices. Mark making, underpainting, and careful realization ... attempting to say a complex thing in a simple way. These images are only one thing I make or do. I also fuss on sheds, cut wood, pat cats, and enjoy cold beer. I write a lot of email letters to friends. I feed the birds, (the Grey Jays will eat from my hand!) and hear the brooks rushing at night. I have a wife that puts up with me, and she becomes a little perturbed when someone asks me " Where are you? " and I answer " I'm at my wife's house..." but it is an honest answer.
These images are the result of tramping around in the woods, most not far from my cabin. Most of them are based on photos I take as I'm not fond of sitting in the cold. I think my next project may be to build a replica of Henry Thoreau's place (minus the pond) as I've found a lovely stretch of old growth with a high canopy and I can picture a little cabin below it.Stay tuned.
Glenn Hall, 2021