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Killarney: Our Body of Water

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Art + Design, Our Voice

  • A.Y. Jackson, "Nellie Lake," c. 1933.
  • Photo Credit: Robert Thody.
  • Photo Credit: Robert Thody.
  • Photo Credit: Robert Thody.
  • Photo Credit: Robert Thody.
  • Photo Credit: Robert Thody.
  • Photo Credit: Robert Thody.
  • Photo Credit: Robert Thody.

Robert Thody, Education Officer | September 22, 2016

On Killarney Lake: Impression

As the fiery orb descended, a hideous dark wrapped its murky curtain across the heavens, engulfing the last sparkle of light on the reflecting lake below. I have entered a dark and distant landscape, where rock and foliage transform into giants and monsters. Along the horizon, dragons drape cold and reptilian silhouettes along steep rocks with hollows bearing the impressions of cavernous graves.

 

Above the distant outstretched pines is a single piercing. A lone star. Then another. Soon an intricate heavenly web is revealed. A mysterious cypher. This burgeoning configuration of ancient paths and patterns sing of gods and legends that summon a surreal slumber, where dormant archetypes capture my dreams and I finally surrender to a blood soaked moon.

 

I am awoken by a Loon echoing its haunting siren around the giant hills and distant hues. A sharp glint of fire penetrates an ambush of foliage and will ascend the long bruised wisps of vapour across a torn sky. The lake receives this light, reflecting a deep transparent pedestal of shimmering ripples on this body of water, which like my own, breathes anew.

 

On Trout Lake: Protection

A. Y. Jackson’s cabin lay close to the Georgian Bay. After enduring rugged portages along logging tracks, he would cross the vast still waters towards Trout Lake, where the white quartzite Rockies embrace a hidden sanctuary. He and fellow artist Franklin Carmichael found great inspiration here, painting rich panoramas of emerald water, pink granite rock and white pines in raw and vibrant colours.

 

Over the years, acid rain wounded the lake and the trout perished.  Forestry farming and loggers blades threatened this hidden sanctuary. A plea for protection, through both artists, and the Ontario Society of Artists, was eventually granted. Trout Lake became O.S.A. Lake and the area became Killarney Provincial Park, a wilderness heritage.