Sleeping Wild Cat River

Paul N_Wild Cat_OKWA Mar2016

Monotype on Japanese paper, 2016
Image size: w 24″ x h 24″
Framed size: w 33″ x h 33″

The Great Cataraqui River — central to the geography, population, and identity of the City of Kingston, Ontario, Canada but largely off limits because of the legacy of its polluting industry/lead smelting past — is both a treasure and enormous challenge. An important waterway, it is part of the historic Rideau Canal. The wetlands host migratory birds and is vital to the survival of many species of ground and water wildlife. Visions of an environmentally responsible third crossing and green revitalization of the Davis Tannery brownfield, where mercury lingers in sediment, drive our collective imagination.

Seen from the air, the river is a writhing dragon cat tangled in the grid of development. This work was inspired by aerial photography accessed online from the City of Kingston website (2011 images) and original prints (in particular, 1957 shots showing areas of ice formation) at the Queen’s University Library (Maps and Documents).

This work is part of the exhibition “A Sense of Place”, view of Kingston by the artists of OKWA, Organization of Kingston Women Artists, 31 March to 23 April 2016 at the Pump House Museum on Ontario Street.



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