Roger Savage, Derelict House, East Light, Sable Island II, 2005. Gift of the Artist, Liverpool, Nova Scotia, 2008
Unknown, Ailsa Craig, 1891. Gift of John and Norma Oyler, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 2006Tom Forrestall, Sketch for "Island in the Ice", 1987. Acquisition made possible with funds provided by Christopher Ondaatje, Toronto, Ontario, 1994

The Waterline: Islands and Connectivity

Saturday, 24 July 2021 to Sunday, 25 September 2022

Artists: Benny Andrews, William Henry Bartlett, Joseph Bouchette, Cecil Day, George Henry Craig, Robert Dudley, Tom Forrestall, Gerald Gloade, Sylvia D. Hamilton, Doris Wall Larson, Henry Buckton Laurence, Toni Onley, Charles Roberts, Roger Savage, William Scheuer, Kay Stanfield, James Tibbitts Willmore, and Gary Wilson.

This exhibition highlights just a few of the many interpretations of islands by artists both within and outside of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s permanent collection. Islands can carry vastly different meanings depending on someone’s background or history. As an ideology, Island Mentality can refer to a community that isolates itself as exceptional to the rest of the world, or an individual who may avoid others due to feelings of loneliness, fear, or inferiority.

An island can be a hospitable place of refuge, allowing for rest or rejuvenation. Their resources, location, or history may also impart a sense of important spiritual belonging. An island can be treacherous; a place where one can find themselves through circumstances beyond their control: a shipwreck, quarantine, captivity, desolation, its perimeter a boundary difficult to overcome. An island can provide hope; as a landmark, signal, or important communication line between distant communities.

The compelling stories around islands in the Atlantic that the artists in this exhibition have drawn from still resonate today, making important connections between historical interpretations and our current and future collective memory.

Curated by: Michael McCormack