Janet Read was able to capture the unique and compelling atmosphere of the Arctic in her latest art exhibition – entirely from memory.
“High Arctic Light,” a new exhibition at the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre, is a series of paintings by Janet Read based on her travels to the Arctic in 2018 and 2023.
During the exhibition’s reception on Sunday afternoon, Read shared a bit about her inspiration and artistic process.
“I work from my memory, I didn’t work on-site: there’s not much time because you’re outside all day,” Read told The Lake Report.
This is how Read usually operates in her art, she said: by thinking through the “filter of imagination.”
She said she has been working with oceans, clouds and water for years.
For this project though, she brought in a new element in order to properly capture the uniqueness of the Arctic.
“I started using a different material. It’s called Dura-Lar and it’s like a polyester film and it’s sort of translucent,” Read said.
This material helped her depict the physical reality of the Arctic’s environment.
“The Arctic is very misty and it’s so vast and the distances are so great that there’s always this sort of atmospheric light that’s very different from other places,” she said.
Read welcomed the community to the Pumphouse between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday to showcase her 20 pieces and answer questions.
Beverly Swanson visited all the way from Manitoba and shared her awe at Read’s ability to paint without a reference photo.
“By not working with a photograph, she’s allowing herself more space and room to be more intimate with the memory of it, which just offers a sort of full expression,” Swanson told The Lake Report.
“High Arctic Light” will be on display at the Pumphouse until Oct. 29.
More information on Janet Read and her work can be found here at janet-read.com.