Temagami Burning


High temperatures, dry conditions and a lot of thunder storms in July, 2018 prompted multiple forest fires around Lake Temagami and Lady-Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park in northern Ontario. The Town of Temagami declared a state of emergency, and evacuated homes. The smoke drove my wife and I out of our summer cabin in the South Arm of Lake Temagami. Thousands of hectares of forest, including some old growth, were destroyed.

I have loved and spent time in this place all my life. This collection of art started as an exploration of the Temagami landscape using Japanese tools (Washi paper, hand-ground ink, horse and goat hair brushes, scroll wet mounting). Following the fires, it turned to the sense of being adrift between the fierce, the folly and the fragile nature of the landscape.

These feelings, and the first paintings, fused with action when I learned that the forest is threatened further by a Provincial decision to ignore Climate Change considerations in the Temagami Forest Management Plan. Eco-Justice, Canada's largest environmental law organization is now taking the Province of Ontario to court.