Day 13: Pouch Cove Foundation Residency
The air is thick with quietude here—profoundly quiet—until I unleash my Mac’s playlist, filling the studio with a symphony of tunes. It’s Friday the 13th, a misty day enveloping the cove. The week has been a tapestry of fog and humidity, woven with strokes of painting and seaside strolls to inhale the invigorating ocean air. The ocean, the pulse of this place, beats and roars, drowning out even the strongest vocal protests from neighbours. A Pouch Cove Residency Update as I write the chapters of my first two weeks here.
A curious encounter with a discontented neighbor unfolds. Her abode, perched atop a cliff called Gruchy’s, is a refuge from St. John’s, chosen for love. Yet, for her, the crashing waves are too much, a relentless auditory assault on her single-pane windows. To her, the coastal serenade is deafening. Contrarily, I find the locale eerily silent, akin to a ghost town, save for sporadic traffic and mail deliveries, especially lively around the post office—a communal nexus.
As I tap away on my laptop, the keys serve as my proclamation to fellow resident artists—I’m alive. My immersion into my creative cocoon and the narratives unfurling on canvas is profound. My mission here: to paint three expansive canvases, a saga to be concluded before my departure. I’ve already decided to transport them rolled up, adding final touches, varnish, stretch, and wire at home—my deliberate and meditative concluding act.
Two weeks have flitted by, weaving a tapestry of exploration. Pouch Cove, St. John’s, Mount Pearl, The Battery, Quidi Vidi, and Petty Harbour—all dot my creative map. Cape Spear and Cape Bonavista’s lighthouses, with their iconic red-white-red stripes, tell tales of maritime resilience and revival. Cupid’s, birthplace of colonialism, and Brigus, a town adorned with vibrant homes, beckon with stories.
Trinity unfolds as a living museum, offering refuge from the hustle of St. John’s. Pizza in Dildo—a fishing hamlet with a Hollywood-style sign—and a drive through towns like Hearts, Content, and Desire add quirky notes to my Newfoundland journey. Old Pelican awaits my exploration, promising more layers of history in Canada’s European mirror.
Newfoundland, in my ‘come from away’ eyes, is more than rocks, pounding waves, and cod. It’s a symphony of homes, often uninspired and cookie-cutter, resonating with an Irish accent. The landscape, with its jellybean colors, harbors a distinctive charm. A place where the proud use of ‘fuck’ is a linguistic tradition. I’ve indulged in comfort meals like fish and Brewis and sampled variations of fish and chips, including the intriguing ‘Newfie poutine.’ Sour beers abound, a testament to local taste.
The landscape is strewn with dories, abandoned fish boats, and roadside oddities, offering a glimpse into the island’s soul. Clotheslines dot the scenery, tempting my curatorial instincts for a touch of the unexpected.
Spring promises puffins, whales, and icebergs—an encore for my next journey. And then, there are the Mummers, a tale for another post.
Cheers from Newfoundland! Week three beckons.
Come From Away,