October 24 th 2008

Oil and digital print on panel
15 cm x 110 cm

I am always curious about how a location can hold a memory, a meaning, full of associations and emotional pull. Someone drew me a map to this hilltop, noting that "you can swing on the ski lifts, during the summer, and they won't kick you off." Following the map—you can see it collaged into the painting—I found the right hill, and then let both empathy and imagination flow. The hill overlooks an "edge of the world" space, where sprawling urbanity and rural zones meet. A subdivision under development reminded me of Bosch's strange burning cities. The fireworks are both celebration and immolation, as the improbable lifts rise to meet them.

Topics: Arts

Phil Irish, from Elora, Ontario, has exhibited widely across Canada and the United States. He earned a BA in Fine Art and English Literature from the University of Guelph in 1995. Exhibitions at public museums, artist-run-centres, and commercial galleries include Oakville Galleries, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Galerie Joyce Yahouda, Angell Gallery, and AKA Artist Run Centre. His contribution to the Francophonie International Painting Competition was exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada. La Manif d'Art 4, Quebec City's biennial, featured his work. He has developed new work during residencies in Newfoundland, at the Symposium in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, and as the City of Kitchener's Artist in Residence. Irish applied his painterly vision to a web-based artwork for Oakville Galleries. He was shortlisted for the Kingston Prize, Canada's national portrait competition.