Evidence of Leon Chung’s passion for art, especially animation, is present throughout his home. Art books, graphic novels, and DVDs are stacked neatly in shelves, along with figurines. The space…
You can find such surprising and funny things while digging through archives. The Pilote de Terre-Neuve, published in 1869, is full of dollhouse-like illustrations of Newfoundland’s coastline, complete with tiny ships and houses. I also came across a sea captain’s letter to his daughter, in which he describes “seven little gulls recently hatched” that he is attempting to raise.
“Do you remember everything I’ve told you?” I ask my fiancé for the millionth time. We are in the lobby of a Quality Inn near Pearson International. Four floors up, my parents await to meet their daughter and future son-in-law. This is the first time my Indian and Canadian realms will come face to face.
Emerging from the crowd, I see the accordion player sitting on a folding chair. It is planted in a spot of sun on the downtown sidewalk. Following the movement of passersby, his body swivels in his chair, arms flapping. He offers his music and eye contact to every passing pedestrian.
The Halloween that I was three-and-a-half years old, my cousins stuffed a pair of pantyhose with socks, tied it to my chest, put me in a cowboy hat and boots, and made me learn all the lyrics to Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.” It was a busty show stopper and we still have it recorded on VHS.
BY Eva Crocker
In 1992 Long’s Hill caught on fire and my family was evacuated from our house on Livingstone Street. I was two; I don’t remember the fire but there’s a story…
BY Marie Stamp
“O’Hara would eventually make hundreds of recordings of the stories and songs of the people he met in Newfoundland. He did not have to insist too much to coax them to take the mic. “Sing a song or hum a tune, do a dance or leave the room! That’s what they used to say,” he remembers of his time in Branch.”
BY Renee Fancey
Joey sits in soft focus. Behind him, blue skies and bright murals paint a backdrop easily mistaken as exotic. Festival flags rally. Paving stones undulate drunkenly up the lane. Streetlamps, tagged out to the sun, sleep off their graveyard shifts. A canopy of shadows waves like a palm tree.
BY Eva Crocker
As we weave through the racks she tells me the history of specific pieces, like a donated Sherlock Holmes’ style cape and deerstalker hat that was worn during the Boer War. Each costume is a talisman for transformation and picking the right one can help summon a character, conjure a world.
BY Drew Brown
The Great Auk got a raw deal. Setting its cloned Razorbill-hybrid progeny down on Funk Island as an act of atonement is a tempting proposition. Easing our collective guilt aside, a resurrected Auk could be an economic boon. Every cove and tickle would put in an ACOA grant to host a penguin hatchery.
BY Brad Pretty
February is a dark twenty-eight (or nine) days for anyone brave enough to weather it in Newfoundland and Labrador.
BY Emily Deming
“Where we went, they went,” says Reynolds. One Sunday, he drove a group of them up to Salmon Cove where his mom served them Jigg’s dinner.
BY Marie Stamp
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it. -George Bernard Shaw “Ah, NewFOUNDland! Sure they speak Gaelic there, don’t they?”…
As David often said, “The book you need is right next to the book you’re looking for, which isn’t here today, but we’ll get it for you when it comes in.”
BY Emily Deming
“No one insists on the crudité platter every year because they love raw vegetables. We are insisting on our place at the table; on being recognized for what we believe we are within our family, within our group of friends, within our community.”
Biennales happen in big cities: Venice, Istanbul, São Paulo, Berlin. So the idea of a ‘Bonavista Biennale’ sounds incongruous, something like proposing Woodstock at Woody Point, or an Olympics at Ochre Pit Cove.
I’VE BEEN READING After Icebergs with a Painter, Rev. Louis L. Noble’s imaginative travelogue from a voyage around Newfoundland in 1859. It’s like following a jet-setting paparazzo’s Instagram – except instead of celebrity photos, it’s full of nineteenth-century prose portraits of icebergs.
Quickly, we got talking about what it means to be fair-skinned, blue eyed and Indigenous.
“It reminds me of many nights I slept in the forests and I was waiting to die. We had houses, beds, and sheets, but we were unable to have them around us. My family and I had to sleep outside in any weather. In the storm rain, cold, and wind without blankets.”
“I’M A SORT of tourist attraction,” Joey Smallwood quipped, late in his career. “Everyone who comes here wants to meet me.”
PREVENTATIVE CANCER surgery, Kathy Dunderdale’s twitter account, and mass shootings as regular news: these random happenings came together to shape the idea of The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes. Wanda Janynes’ unlikely heroism and its personal fallout took shape only as I drew connections between those three things.
When I signed up for my first photography class in art school, my dad rummaged around in the basement and placed a heavy leather case in my hands. I unbuckled it to find his old 35mm camera, a Zenit EM. It had an enormous dent above the lens, as if it had deflected a bullet, and its selenium light meter, mysteriously, did not require batteries.
Until yesterday, I was blissfully unaware that freezing fog is a weather condition that apparently happens on Earth, and not just on planets in the outermost reaches of our solar system.
BY Drew Brown
I’M NOT GOING TO TALK about the politics in art. I’ll leave that for the tragically underemployed fine arts students. I’m going to flip that upside-down and talk about the place of art in politics. Right here, in Newfoundland and Labrador.
ST. JOHN’S IS A BULL-MINDED TAURUS. I’m a Gemini who needs to take in every view. You can leave Newfoundland and Labrador, but it will never leave you. Believe me, I’ve tried.