inspired inspired by all the input these past few days – New Zealand, Ukraine & the Balkans (via Toronto), Russia, Romania, Rwanda, Scotland – folks from all these places gathered here to talk, play and sing about change & re-volution.  All of it a huge call to collectively change the way we think.  Well, I’m in.

My shovel now has a larger context:  add guardrail and heavy truck from a 410 drive down to hot hot Toronto this summer, and I feel I’ve managed to pull a story into this painting.

Here’s the rough underpainting before adding images – it’s in greyscale because the composition is easier to see.

Grant’s grandmother, on her return from Poland in 2008 told me that she’d seen a long long line of road workers building a road with only shovels as tools.  They simply do not have heavy trucks to work with, so they do it the old way – with backs and legs and shoulders and arms and …shovels.

…and with the HWY 410 images added in photoshop as a sketch – also in B&W so I can see. I have them drawn onto the canvas now – very exciting.

If I do my job well, questions should arise out of the contrasting images:  how did we get to be so disengaged from physical work?  In the context of the entire show, the question of sustainability should arise, along with a re-valuing for simple, old, beautifully made hand tools.  I’m hoping to inspire folks to reconnect with the ground, with simple tools, with physical labour in a more personal way.
More coming.  We shall see what happens!