I believe that although war is a collective effort, we remain alone in a shattered landscape.

A.Y. Jackson valued the solitude that is the companion of any artist. Canada appointed artists to document its involvement in the war. Jackson worked alone in the landscape stripped naked by artillery fire, escaping the suffocating proximity of war in the trenches. His haunting paintings show the copse with no trees, the house with no roof, the battleground with no soldiers … as if a solitary tree was all that remained of the living.

– Viveka Melki


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Optical crystal

“The soldiers in the trench, are part of a shattered landscape, split between their imagined home landscape and the horrors of their battlefield reality.”
– Mark Raynes Roberts

Olfactory memory

“Under a heavy and continuous rain, odours of wet tobacco, sweat and urine clash.”
– Alexandra Bachand

Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson (1882-1974)

“A.Y. Jackson is one of the members of the Group of Seven painters. His work is synonymous with Canadian landscape paintings, the “art for a nation” that from the group’s first show in 1920 affirmed a new vision of art in Canada. But before he was a seminal painter of the Canadian landscape, he was a soldier and a war artist.”
– Alexander Reford

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Cantlie’s Letter