DOROTHY KNOWLES - A Sense of Place

"A sense of place, which has always been important to me, is also important to my audience. People connect with and are curious about the location of the images in the paintings." - Dorothy Knowles

This quote of Dorothy's appeared in the Magenta Foundations' Carte Blanche: Painting catalogue (2008) and the appropriateness of it struck me. In the 30 years that I have worked with Dorothy's paintings, Canadians have always been fascinated with her vision of the country.

Although it has primarily been the extraordinary landscape of the Prairie, Dorothy has infrequently wandered further a field and this exhibition brings you her vision and insights nto yet another corner of the country, Tofino, British Columbia. A decade ago Dorothy visited Ontario and a small suite of paintings came out of that visit including those originating from her boat ride on the lake on a cloudy day. Likewise, the Tofino series has the same attraction of being up close and almost touching the sand and the water. Like the "big sky", the mountains and the foothills, water has been a major theme of her work.

'A Sense of Place' sums up a lifetime of painting. At 82 years old she has given us a greater understanding of the sheer beauty and vastness of the country. That is an achievement indeed and one increasingly worth recognizing for its historical and personal contribution.

Miriam Shiell, April 2009

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