Michael Connolly: “My images are reactions to memories of particular places and experiences”

June 2023

His new solo exhibition, Rise, opens at The Leyton Gallery tomorrow. In this series, Connolly explores the changing face of the landscape within Gros Morne National Park. “My places are interactive, not just vistas, but places where I have walked, canoed, and fished,” he says in his artist’s statement. “I use these experiences as inspiration to create paintings, etchings and lithographs of these places that have touched me in some way.”

Inspired by extreme flooding that dramatically altered the Lomond Valley in 2019, the work considers the ways in which the landscape has evolved and continues to be altered by time and increasingly severe weather. Glacially carved mountains rise from the water, rising floodwaters create scoured riverbanks, sand rises to create dunes over previously forested areas along the beach. Without hesitation, the sun rises over the resilient land anew each day.
“My work has become more literal over the years, the essence of the land satisfying my image making. My goal is for the viewer to feel some sense of the place and understand the connection between image and artist.”

Opening reception Saturday June 3, 3 – 5pm; the exhibition continues at The Leyton Gallery until June 30.The artist acknowledges the support of ArtsNL and the City of St John’s.

Images: Remnants, Overtaken, and Lifting, courtesy of The Leyton Gallery.

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