HALIFAX SHIPPING LANES: 2009-2010

Conceptually, this project was a day-to-day practice of creating a painting ritual. Tracking the passing of the ships, both in and out of the harbour, was the basis of chronicling and marking the passing of time. Focus was of the utmost importance along with the collecting and proper documentation of coming and goings.

Generally, a log was kept of photos that were taken from the artists’ home and boathouse (on the same property) and then they were matched with the daily log that the artist received from the Halifax Port Authority. The date that the ship passed by was always chronicled within the paintings title and blog post. As well, the artist occasionally used written words as the background of the images or copies of the actual logs from the Port Authority.

~ excerpt from project ~

‘Halifax Shipping Lane: Paris Express, October 16, 16:08′  oil on canvas, 24″ x 24″ - 2009 (private collection)

‘Halifax Shipping Lane: Paris Express, October 16, 16:08′ oil on canvas, 24″ x 24″ - 2009 (private collection)

Halifax Shipping Lane : Friday, October 16th, 2009

The Paris Express (Hapag Lloyd) rhythmically and methodically breaks the waves on its way into the Port of Halifax. It will eventually dock at Fairview Cove container terminal to unload part of its cargo and then set a course for New York.

The Paris Express. How one longs to get back to Europe again. The name of the ship alone takes you to the continent. You would imagine that its containers are filled with magical gifts from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region. That Victoria has packed a special container filled with thick red wines and tapestries and pastries and edible glitter.

I love that a ship on a cold October afternoon can transport you to another place and time.

On an artistic note, I must acknowledge the circles and attribute the idea to my friend Adrian Edwards – an outstanding British artist and art educator who, for the time being, lives just up the road. I am hopeful that Adrian, my friend Marco Ferri (Italy) and I will work collectively on some work over the coming years that will be destined for Europe. Although Adrian has moved on from his spherical period, I asked to borrow a few of them and let them influence a few of my paintings. A number of them have been met with disastrous results but this one seemed to eventually resolve itself – if only on an esthetic level.

~ C. Webb