Thoughts on Driving to Venus: Christopher Pratt's Car Books

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The Porcupine's Quill, Sep 22, 2015 - Travel - 208 pages
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Painter and printmaker Christopher Pratt is known for luminous, meticulous images of Atlantic-coast settings. Strongly influenced by the culture and landscape of Newfoundland, Pratt’s still, crystal-clear images of archetypal island life convey more than landscape. They are richly imagined, almost hyperreal depictions of the land, imbued with memory and meaning.

Thoughts on Driving to Venus allows readers an unprecedented glimpse inside Pratt’s mind as he journeys through the Newfoundland countryside. Originally intended for sketches that would later assist in his painting and printmaking, Pratt’s aptly named "Car Books" document numerous road trips he and his wife, Jeanette, took from the late 1990s to the present. The diary-like entries provide an overview of the artist’s stream-of-consciousness impressions, journalistic accounts and personal reflections during these trips. Some passages record the effects of colour, light and shadow on a scene—what he refers to as "sketches"; some delve into personal recollections conjured by the landscapes seen through the windshield; others are reflections on his complex emotional ties to his homeland. The result is an intimate portrait of the creative process and realms of the imagination of one of Canada’s most important contemporary artists.

 

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About the author (2015)

Christopher Pratt is a prominent Canadian painter and printmaker known for creating meticulously precise images of Atlantic Canadian settings. Born in St. John's Newfoundland in 1935, he studied art at the Glasgow School of Art and Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, before deciding in 1963 to dedicate himself to his art full time in his home province of Newfoundland. His works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and have received many prestigious awards and honours. In 1980, he designed Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial flag. He was named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1983. Pratt lives and works in St. Mary's Bay in Newfoundland.

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