Canada By Rail and By Sea (2007–2011) presents a selection from two series of elegiac landscapes by acclaimed Canadian artist Scott Conarroe. Capturing vast stretches of North America, Conarroe travelled the continent to systematically document railways, ports, coastlines, and their immediate environments with a contemporary, clear-eyed romanticism. Seen together, the Canadian views of By Rail (2007–2009) and its continuation By Sea (2009–2011) reveal the significant contribution of transportation infrastructures to Canada’s territorial expansionism, and to the construction and unification of our national identity. From one coast to the other, Conarroe’s exploration juxtaposes human-built habitations and industrial structures with seemingly infinite natural horizons of ocean and land. His poetic vistas evoke the past while addressing environmental and social concerns arising from the post-industrial decay of the Western world.
Organized by the Ryerson Image Centre