Fire Work

As a Canadian landscape painter I’m passionate about acknowledging the tradition of landscape painting that came before me. I love painting the landscape I grew up in in a style that feels both referential and contemporary. This fire work is an extension of my landscape practice- where I take the romantic idea of the prairies, “the Golden West”, then blow it apart and explore it. I’m interested in the intersections between beauty and discomfort, memory and reality, and how we as humans explore these intersections.

It took me a few years of working in this genre before I decided to introduce more literal elements into my landscape paintings. I experimented with a few things, but eventually came to this idea of depicting fire destroying structures in modern, rural settings. I wanted these fire pieces to feel both familiar and uncanny, I wanted them to capture a moment of violence in a beautiful way and say to my audience “not all is lost despite the fact we’re losing this”.

For me these paintings are about presenting moments of tragedy we bond over, cry over, feel alive over, create stories we pass from generation to generation over. They depict in a modern way the land I come from, that my Polish/Ukrainian ancestors settled and died on, and that I’ll return to one day.

As with all my work, I like playing with nostalgia, familiarity and perception.

I use memory, personal and found photos as influence, and I have a deep interest in color theory.