Homelands

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I sing as if no one can hear me (Saskatchewan)
Woman Artist, acrylic paint, painter, abstract, geography,sense of place, Canadian identity, Canadian heritage,archives, Prairie, Native Land, history,map, text, explore, interpretation, observation,eliptical shapes, voice, exploratory image-making, layering, landscape, conceptual, articulation,
description

Mackenzie settled her family in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1986, but she does not consider any particular place to be her "homeland". She explored the  conceptAn idea, thought, or notion conceived through mental activity. The words concept and conception are applied to mental formulations on a broad scale. (Artlex.com)  of a native land or place in this artwork, while at the same time, hoping to discover more about herself. In her quest, she chose the Saskatchewan prairie, a place she had never experienced and that held no ties for her. She travelled to a variety of locations, talked to the local people and studied the local archives. She wanted to understand the history of the area and a sense of the place. In her process, she uncovered some of the unrecorded or overlooked histories of the area.

Mackenzie’s research and her own observations were recorded and presented in this work. Her  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  I sing as if no one can hear me (Saskatchewan) suggests a map but it is much more, it contains many layers of text, images, documents and paint. Her work is  abstractImagery which departs from representational accuracy, to a variable range of possible degrees. Abstract artists select and then exaggerate or simplify the forms suggested by the world around them.  (Artlex.com)  and it is difficult to discern her particular view of the province of Saskatchewan.  After viewing the painting, each viewer will take away an interpretation of the ideas presented in the work and possibly reaffirm or question the reasons why he or she may feel strongly attached to this place.

additional resources Things to Think About
  • Why do we have ideas of what is "home" and what is "not home"? Why do we get emotionally attached to a place?
Studio Activity

Using culture and history

  • Find out more about a location in the world to learn more about the culture and history.  Go to the CIA World Factbook to start.

Abstract landscapes

Landon Mackenzie’s  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  I sing as if no one can hear me (Saskatchewan) suggests a map of Saskatchewan, but it is much more, containing many layers of text, images, documents and paint. Her work is abstract and it is difficult to discern her particular view of the province of Saskatchewan.

References

Hampson, Sarah.  ‘”Landmarks" Landon Mackenzie.’  Elm Street, April 1998.

Laing, Jack.  This Place and Some Other: The Solitary Journey of Landon Mackenzie.  Exhibition catalogue. Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, Ontario, 1997.

Lammarich, Yvonne.  ‘Tracking Athabasca:  Landon Mackenzie.’  Canadian Art, Vol. 18 No. 1, Spring 2001. Retrieved from the Internet on August 10, 2008 from:  http://www.ccca.ca/c/writing/l/lammerich/lamm006t.html

Laurence, Robin.  ‘Pentamentalist: The Painted Underworld of Landon Mackenzie.’  Border Crossings, Summer 1996.

Morantz, Alan.  ‘Shadowing the Map Makers, Artist Landon Mackenzie Reimagines the Landscapes Travelled by Canada's Earliest Cartographers.’  Canadian Geographic Magazine, November-December issue, 2001.

Townsend-Gault, Charlotte.  ‘Landon Claims and the Saskatchewan of the Mind.’ in Landon Mackenzie, Saskatchewan Paintings, exhibition catalogue.  The Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1996.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning