Cliff George – Solace In The Canvas
Christina Parker Gallery presents Solace In The Canvas, an exhibition of recent paintings by Clifford George.
The paintings in this exhibition were created during periods of lockdown and imposed isolation. While the solace of the studio is familiar territory for artists, the quiet in the communities where Clifford George travelled was not the artist’s familiar experience of meeting the people living and working in the communities that he was painting.
Time stood still. It is like a Covid play that has no ending yet. Our younger generation will remember, when they grow older, the days when time stood still. I found myself at the beginning of the epidemic painting in the stillness of my studio to the new normal. This silence is hard to explain, but there is a peace in the silence. I am overwhelmed with the sounds in my head. Sounds of rivers flowing to the sea, fishermen on the stage head in the morning mist, sun dancing on the rocks. It touches my soul in a magical kind of way.
During this period I posted several videos of me painting to inspire others to carry on in this lock down time. I communicated with friends on Facebook, writers, musicians, other artists, the feedback was tremendous. We were alone but when spring came in 2020, out I went doing Plein Air painting. I travelled around the Avalon and down to Twillingate, where Art at the Gate organized a Plein Air painting video with myself and J.C. Roy for educational purposes. While I was painting, I could hear the sounds of the community, dogs barking, cars driving by, people calling out to me, crows cawing and the wind blowing through the coves. I stayed and travelled around the area and did some more painting in Little Harbour, Purcell’s Harbour, etc. In the evenings, J. C. and myself would have a few drinks and talk about days gone by, it was great to laugh and get reacquainted again.
After Twillingate I travelled the shore to Gander Bay, Musgrave Harbour, Lumsden, Cape Freels, Green’s Pond, New West Valley – all a painters dream. Travelling for miles, the shoreline seemed to go on forever. Communities were in silence, signs on the road said Restaurant ahead with the day special listed, but the sign on their doors said closed due to Covid. The only thing moving was the clothes on the lines flapping in the wind. Time was in a trance, waiting for the curtains to open and life to start up again.
The communities gave me a new offering, alone in the silence I found solace in the canvas.
Clifford George lives and works in Whiteway, Trinity Bay. While primarily self-taught as a painter, he received a formal art education at the College of Trades and Technology in St. John’s where he graduated in 1972. His first job after graduating was as a sign painter. Clifford continued his art education by doing private study and workshops with some of the most important artists in Newfoundland like Gerald Squires, Frank LaPointe and Don Wright. Later, his drawing ability led him to a job as a medical artist at the Health Science Centre associated with Memorial University, where his drawings of medical procedures were published in many international medical journals. Clifford has maintained an active studio practise for more than 50 years and has exhibited in over 100 exhibitions since 1970. Solace In The Canvas marks Clifford’s 5th solo exhibition with the Christina Parker Gallery. The paintings of Clifford George are found in public and private collections around the world.
Due to COVID protocols there will not be an opening reception. The gallery will be open to small groups during regular hours and we ask that guests maintain social distancing protocols, wear a mask inside the gallery, and sign the contact tracing form.
Gallery hours are 11-5pm Tuesday through Saturday.
To download the visual catalogue click here