Hallie Watson

The Water, Trees & Sky of Point Pleasant Park

This show opened at the Saint John Arts Centre, March 2013 and another version opened at the Jo Beale Gallery, the Red School House, Peggy’s Cove, NS. June 9, 2013

Artist's Statement

   It takes four to eight hours to make a landscape in the Park. Sitting somewhere in the wild growth, I shuck the city and acclimatize to the rhythms of nature. The sun is on my skin. There are the sounds of wind through the leaves, and squirrels tell me they see me. Chickadees sometimes land on my drawing board. Crows call. The ocean is blazing and sparkling with sunlight. It’s so bright I can’t look at it. The waves are in constant rhythmic motion. The tide comes in. The sun moves across the sky. I can smell the earth and leaves. There is imperceptible movement; the green process of chlorophyll, the upward twisting of bark and branches. These natural movements of growth are always there, a background of life, a gently humming wavelength, that is largely unnoticed in city living.

   Many people visit the Park. Leased from the Queen for a pound a year, it is a special element of Halifax that is cherished by its inhabitants and shared by joggers, walkers, dogs, children, talkers, baskers, readers, and thinkers. They walk along the civilized paths and roads, that are tamed lines carved through natural disorder.

   In 2003 hurricane Juan rolled over the park making open spaces where there had been dense forest, and a tangle of fallen trunks where shaded trees once grew. It has been 10 years since then and the regrowth is well under way. Some of the old pines survived and stand tall still, watching over the quick emergence of the new generation of trees coming up amongst the fallen branches. What were initially tiny trees are taller now, over our heads, and the circle is complete, the green creative growth balancing the past destructive forces of the storm.