2nd year, Painting and Drawing
Gallery 2 Be a Part of History
36 ” x 48″
Oil paint on canvas
This painting is part of a larger project based on the Lachine Canal that I worked on during the summer of 2017. As I live close to the canal, I have a regular walking route that covers a loop from Lock #1 to the St-Gabriel lock. There is a lot of history along this route – the Lachine Canal is in fact a National Historic Site administered by Parks Canada – but also a lot of redevelopment. I began researching the history of the canal, and sketching the old buildings and bridges that line it. My route covers the area of Griffintown, once home to mostly Irish immigrants who built the canal and worked in the factories, and now a hotbed of new condominiums being developed for the modern era’s new “working class.” As I walk, I observe the many buildings along the canal that still reflect their original architecture, and I wonder about how we decide (or who decides) what should be preserved as “history” and what is okay to tear down.
One sunny morning on my regular route, I passed a new demolition site: one of these older buildings was in the process of being down for yet another condo expansion. The machines struck me as voracious creatures; the shadows they cast felt ominous. The marketing tagline for this condo development was “Be a Part of History,” and the irony hit me yet again. This painting attempts to capture my reaction to these events.