Ned Pratt: Rhythm in Place
Christina Parker Gallery is pleased to announce Rhythm in Place, an exhibition of new photographs by Ned Pratt. The exhibition will open with an artist reception on Friday, Apr. 28 from 6–8pm, and will continue until May 20. Music at the opening reception will be provided by Boyd Chubbs.
Ned Pratt states, “In 2022 I began working in a new proportion, 32 × 64″. Essentially, these dimensions represent two squares. The change in composition offers me a new versatility and the opportunity for a more rhythmic composition. It permits me to get further back from my subject matter and changes the way I see the landscape.”
“I am a simple photographer. My ideas are simple but focused and sincere. Throughout my career I have concentrated on the island of Newfoundland for my imagery. Personal history, family, memories, and sympathy toward this land and its forms are the backbone of my work. The objective in my practice has never been to treat the land as a device but to consider it to be a living poem, ancient, and written by many cultures. The photographs are not of anything that is mine, but rather images that my life has been privileged to observe.”
Pratt carefully constructs his imagery with the push and pull of foreground and background often found in painting. Influences from painting masters such as Piet Mondrian, Mark Rothko and Turner are seemingly apparent through the artist’s use of mood, colour and composition. In Shadows on the Sea Fret, we are reminded of J.M.W. Turner’s evocative atmospheric painting, The Lagoon Near Venice at Sunset. The photograph reveals through the fog, a dreamy shadow of the artist’s house in Cape Pine and the light house next to it, cast on the side of the sea fret from the intense sun setting behind, a chance happening, like a gift from another place.
In the photograph Barrens in the Spring, we see how the light through a warming earth and cooling onshore wind forms a thick morning mist, tricking the eye into thinking that the barrens are a flat mass but at extreme ends of the day, the quiet beauty of their complexity is revealed.
In the work Aikens Wall, Ned Pratt captures a concrete building under construction that has its roots in the simplicity of Modernist architecture. His understanding of the formal beauty in the structure of the building and the placement of the windows elevates the building as a structure of elegance and integrity. The title is a nod to Robert Aiken, the engineer who developed the modern advancement of tilt-up construction.
The photography of Ned Pratt flows between representational and abstraction, architectural and landscape imagery. Having a strong formal understanding to begin with, Pratt experiments with pushing boundaries to find a necessary tension in the photograph for a silent sense of the sublime.
“The images are quiet, simple, complex, threatening and peaceful – but always beautiful.”
Ned Pratt was born in Salmonier (NL), and resides in Newfoundland and Labrador. He holds a BFA in photography from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a BA in art history from Acadia University. His photography has been exhibited at the former Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, PREFIX Photo, the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival (2012) and in Oh, Canada: Contemporary Art from North America at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (touring from 2012–16). He holds the 2017 Large Year Award from Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador for Excellence in the Visual Arts.
In 2018, Pratt’s first touring survey exhibition, One Wave, curated by Mireille Eagan, opened at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery (September 2018 – February 2019). The exhibition was accompanied with a major publication and toured to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, NB (September 2019 – February 2020), The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (October 2020 – February 2021) and to Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery, Sarnia ON (March 4 – September 10, 2022).
Ned Pratt’s work has been written about in various publications, including Canadian Art, CBC Arts, Momus, and Mason Journal. His photographs are held in major public and corporate collections across Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia.