Loss of the Flora Nickerson by David Lloyd Blackwood
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Consignor Canadian Fine Art
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Loss of the Flora Nickerson
colour etching and aquatint
signed, titled, dated 1993 and inscribed AP IX/X in the lower margin
31.75 x 19.75 ins ( 80.6 x 50.2 cms )
Estimated: $9,000.00 - $12,000.00
Private Collection, Toronto
The rich monochromatic blue pigments of this work highlight a dramatic tone to the story unfolding. The division of the image field to give importance to the central whale figures and reduce the ship crew to more supporting roles within the composition, emphasizes the artist's devotion and exploration of the harsh Newfoundland environment. In the distance, the Flora Nickerson flounders to the unforgiving waters as its crew and passengers row to safety in their row boat. The sorrow of the loss is engrained in the solemn down-turned expressions of the men aboard the life boat, as a father protectively holds his young boy. This timeless gesture of compassion is not lost within the composition as we see a similar expression of protection in the central whales below. In both instances, a parent encircles their young to instill a sense of safety and security. This subtle mirroring is an interesting comment on not just human compassion and relationships, but speaks to a larger theme of interconnectivity between humans and their environment and the fragility of one's very existence. The sublime power of the composition harnesses a drama of Greek myth proportions, visually highlighting the very notion of one's mortality within a moment of loss, compassion and comfort.
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David Lloyd Blackwood
(1941) O.S.A., R.C.A., Order of Canada
Born in Newfoundland, David Blackwood uses his background on the East coast of Canada to create grande visual narratives reflecting both the landscape and culture of the province with an emphasis on combining the history, legends, and myths of settlement and developing culture of Newfoundland. He is best-known for his colour etchings with aquatint. Blackwood was awarded a Government of Newfoundland Centennial scholarship to study at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and went on to become Art Master at Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario. In 1969, Blackwood became the first artist-in-residence at Erindale College, University of Toronto, Mississauga.
Blackwood was awarded the Order of Canada in 1993 in recognition of his work contributing to and preserving the cultural life and heritage of Canada through his artwork. At the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Blackwood Research Centre within the Morin Gelber Print and Drawing Centre was created after a major acquisition of the artists works in 2000. The museum also elected Blackwood as its honourary Chairman in 2003, the first practicing artist to hold this position. In the same year, he was awarded the Order of Ontario.
As one of Canada's most celebrated print-makers, David Blackwood's works are part of significant Canadian and international private and corporate collections including The Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada. Blackwood currently lives in Port Hope while maintaining a studio in Wesleyville, Newfoundland.