Lisa Neighbour | commentary

The Brink

Although modern cartography no longer includes the edge of Terra Incognita, the possibility of reaching the edge of the Earth is still part of our worldview. The horizon recurs constantly as an element of landscape – museum collections usually contain several versions of this motif. The line dividing earth and sky is almost invisible in its ubiquity yet it can still stir up subliminal anxiety in many of us. The brink is where we encounter the limits of our knowledge, and pause for a second or two while confronting a longing to go onwards into the unknown. Looking at the horizon is also a visual reminder of the hypnagogic state between sleeping and waking. Sometimes, in that liminal state, the sensation of falling off the edge is real enough to jerk us awake again.

As part of Persona Volare: Expo at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, I selected various works from the collection and aligned them to form an extended, obsessive, anxious facsimile of The Brink.

Lisa Neighbour

List of Artworks

All works are from the collection of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery,
Owen Sound, Ontario.

Flo Campbell, Autumn, no date, painting, 23 x 18 cm

William Raphael, Lake Memphremagog, 1869, painting, 32.3 x 17 cm

Takao Tanabe, Skincuttle Dawn, (#4/5), 1986, print, 107 x 69 cm

David Bierk, A Eulogy to Earth, Autumn Sky, 1997, painting, 124 x 124 cm

Thomas John Thomson, Northern Lights, c. 1915, painting, 25.5 x 16.5 cm

Stephen Livick, Fall ’75, (A/P), no date, silver print, 20 x 16 inches

William Kurelek, The Hound of Heaven, 1965, print, 51 x 65 cm

Addison Winchell Price, Tower in the Sky, no date, painting, 41 x 51 cm

Barbara Howard, Winter Lake, 1989, painting, 30 x 24 inches

Lawren Stewart Harris, Greenland, print, 18 x 14 cm

Thomas John Thomson, Shoreline, 1913, painting, 25 x 17 inches

Jane Lusby-Lawrence, Untitled (July Afternoon), no date, painting, 122 x 43 cm

James Lahey, Atlantic Ocean, Vero Beach, 2000, mixed media, 50 x 100 cm

Takao Tanabe, Low Tide/Rathtrevor, (#7/50), 1990, print, 84 x 61 cm

David Brown Milne, Blind Road, 1930, print, 17.5 x 12.5 cm

Lawren Stewart Harris, Islands, North Greenland, no date, painting, 37.5 x 29.5 cm

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