David Blackwood’s prints are a metaphor for the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Set before our time, his images depict Newfoundland as a place of struggle, danger and tragedy. They tell stories of a barren land, a hostile climate and a threatening sea. Drawing on childhood memories, dreams, legends and oral histories, Blackwood captures the hardships of the cod fishery and the seal hunt in the land of his ancestors. Life is fragile, and death by drowning or exposure ever-present. Yet the earnest, hard-working, God-fearing people of Bonavista Bay persevere in a menacing world.
Blackwood talks about a key aspect of his prints – the role of storytelling.
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Great Lost Party Adrift, 1971
etching and aquatint on wove paper
62 x 92.3 cm
Gift of David and Anita Blackwood, Port Hope, Ontario, 2008