I am happy to enter the "Burlington: Urban and Rural Exhibit", at the Art Gallery of Burlington.
My entry, "Sanctuary Between" speaks to a cultural phenomena that is integral to living in Burlington: access to rural sanctuary even though it is a very urban centre. We are so blessed to be able to go to quiet, unspoiled and magnificent places and be utterly alone in what feels like wilderness.
The place that I have painted is a view down a ravine, south of New Street. It is an inconspicuous wonderland, wedged right between two old subdivisions, and if you look hard, you can barely see a shed up at top of the hill that is in someone's backyard. Utterly alone and unseen, I stood at the creek bank looking into the wildly complex undergrowth, the backlit, stained glass autumn trees and into the mesmerizing lightning quick, morphing kaleidoscope of colours and shapes on the water. I felt the sacredness of this spot in its untouched glory. There was this feeling of enchantment - like I was the first to ever discover this magical world.
First to discover - hardly. But that is how a place in nature like this makes me feel. Like it is a tropical desert island. Like it is mine. The magical untouched whole earth is all mine and I am completely attached to every nuance of wonder in it. It is an exhilarating way to feel. In Burlington, the availability of such experience is ever at-hand. It happens by a quick dash to innumerable parks, or even by a turn of your head as you fleet by an open view of the lake on Lakeshore Road. It happens in the middle of well-planned subdivisions where the natural soil was respected and trees and were revered instead of plowed down and saplings sparsely replanted after the planting of houses.
Such experiences with nature add immensely to the quality of my life here. They are a spiritual replenishing for my soul and healing for any transgressions that happen within our urban, compacted and hurried society. This experience of solitary connection in nature seems to be held sacred for Canadians and for those living specifically in the community of Burlington. For me, this amazing "convenience" in Burlington is the best part of living here. It makes a profound difference to the quality of my life every single day - much greater than I ever would have imagined.
The "Burlington: Urban and Rural Exhibition" runs June 15 2016 to the beginning of September. Each artist has been selected for his or her unique interpretations of Burlington's urban and rural culture.