Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hand-drawn Conclusions- Part 3

In thinking about how to 'conclude' this current blog subject, I have decided to add a third segment, in order to make reference to a lovely piece of 'hand-printed' silkscreen art by Robert Rutherford depicting the stone beacon we built for Farley and Claire Mowat back in 2006 at their summer residence in St Peters, Nova Scotia.

The beacon was to be a replica of the mysterious dry stone cairns that have been found (and sparsely documented) not only on Diana Island, off Quebec's Ugava Peninsula, but also along the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador.

These ancient structures were brought to my attention when I first began reading Farley's book The Farfarers . It was this book too, that prompted us to build the dry stone boat structure (described later in his book) at the third annual Canadian dry stone wall festival in 2006. ( see )

This boat roofed 'Alban house' as it is called, now stands proudly as a tribute to this revered Canadian writer, who (unlike many other notable individuals having memorials dedicated to them) is still very much alive and continues to reside here in Port Hope (as does the boat structure) . Both the beacon in Nova Scotia and the boat roofed house in Ontario continue to 'draw' a attention to the fact that there is a much longer history of dry stone walling here in Canada than once first believed.

Robert Rutherford's interest in art began at Trinity College School here in Port Hope, while under the instruction of David Blackwood. He was awarded scholarships to study at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Ontario College of Art and Design where he studied printmaking with Frederick Hagen. He also spent a year in France, studying at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts d'Avignon. He has spent the past twenty years developing his distinctive style of Maritime images. His works are characterized by: "a lot of wonderful curved movement, powerful, animated lines and dramatic skies."

You can visit his site at

For me, Rutherford's print of Farley's 'beacon' empasizes not only the 'continuity' which exists between things built of dry laid stone and the ensuing artistic creativity they so often inspire, but also, the 'conclusion' to this structure's status as merely a curious pile of 'hand-stacked' stones.

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