November 1, 2014
Earlier this week, I had a chance to revisit Kubrick’s horror masterpiece “The Shining”. The film makes reference to several Canadian artworks including four Alex Colville paintings, two Norval Morrisseau works, Paul Peel’s “After the Bath”, Tom Thomson and J.E.H. MacDonald. I’m delighted to verify another Group of Seven artist to the list.
In one scene, Jack Torrence (played by Nicholson) walks down a corridor towards the Gold ballroom of the Overlook Hotel. Before entering the ballroom he stops. Behind him is a poster reproduction of a Canadian icon, “Red Maple” by A.Y. Jackson.
The painting shows a supple red maple on the banks of churning rapids. Some art historians have pointed out the symbolic resonance of the young maple with the forging of Canada’s national identity. At the time Jackson painted this canvas, our young nation had been at battle for months overseas in the Great War. The artist painted it in his Toronto studio in November 1914. This great work marks its centennial this month!