Deer Lake: Junction Brook Memorial, 1999
oil on canvas
114.5 x 305 cm
Gift of David and Margaret Marshall, Toronto, 1999
National Gallery of Canada (no. 40110)
© Christopher Pratt
Christopher Pratt’s practice is rooted in his identity as a Newfoundlander. His paintings consistently reflect the changes in traditional life on the island that have occurred since Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949. While his work is not typically interpreted as political, such concerns underlie many of his paintings. Here he makes reference to a specific place: the Junction Brook River, which disappeared with the construction of a dam to channel water to the Deer Lake powerhouse. A memorial to the lost waterway, his depiction of this powerhouse both laments nature’s submission to human consumption and expresses awe at our ability to harness the rage of the river.