THIS PLACE – Works from the Norfolk Arts Centre Permanent Collection

Now Open! Lower Gallery


Northrop Frye once wrote that Canada “is a country in which nature makes a direct impression on the artist’s mind”. Although Frye was writing about poets, the statement equally applies to visual artists. In fact, for many people, images of the Canadian wilderness are their definition of Canadian art.

It is not surprising that we respond to landscapes: an attachment to some specific place, or sense of place, is important to our emotional and social well-being. Studies have shown that a sense of place helps children to form a strong personal identity, develop a sense of empathy and become good stewards of their environment.

The works of art exhibited in This Place are celebrations of specific places, often ones that have meaning for the artists. Coburn, Schaefer, and Cantelon are all artists whose work is often associated with certain geographic locations. Yarwood and Cadotte are considered to be abstract artists; however, while living in Norfolk County, they both painted representational landscapes. Does of this mean they were deeply inspired by this place?