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Blackwood Ancestors (Audio)

February 22nd, 2011

Blackwood talks about key aspects of his prints – his ancestors who were sea captains.

Duration: 00:02:28

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S.S. Imogene Leaving for the Icefields, 1973

S.S. Imogene Leaving for the Icefields, 1973
etching and aquatint on wove paper
58.1 x 87.4 cm
Gift of David and Anita Blackwood, Port Hope, Ontario, 1999
99/930

The SS Imogene
The SS Imogene has close personal associations for Blackwood – it was captained by his grandfather. Each spring the ship left St. John’s for the Labrador icefields. The sealers on board hoped to earn much-needed cash, yet dreaded the potential dangers ahead – bitter cold, fog, powerful waves, crushing ice and gale-force winds. Departures were particularly poignant, as many sealers never returned.

In 1933 the SS Imogene brought in a record number of seals. Twelve years later the ship hit a sandbank and sank. Its bell and flag were rescued and are on display in this exhibition.