Shelley Ouellet

Johnston’s Falls

9 September - 17 October, 2009

Johnston’s Falls was a new addition to Ouellet’s Wish You Were Here… series that digitally manipulated and recreated, bead-by-bead, three iconic nineteenth century Canadian landscape paintings. Unlike the original three works, Johnston’s Falls was based on a contemporary image of this majestic waterfall set in the now tamed and heavily marketed modern day wilderness. Like Lake Louise, Niagara Falls and the Saguenay River, Johnston’s Canyon was part of Canada’s burgeoning tourist industry, supporting local economies and reinforcing concepts of national identity.

The work also offered a more formal investigation of materials; the image of the falls intricately recreated using more than 46,000 plastic beads. ‘Meant for an audience an ocean away’, Johnston’s Falls was designed to be displayed overseas to show-off the beautiful Canadian landscape in a similar way to the paintings of Church, Bell-Smith and O’Brien.

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