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