Broken Images, Where the Sun Beats
MacLaren Art Centre
37 Mulcaster St,
L4M 3M2, Canada
Dec 4, 2021- March 2022
Curated by Emily McKibbon
Come In Under the Shadow Essay by Emily McKibbon
Rachel MacFarlane’s Broken Images, Where the Sun Beats presents landscapes of our current moment. From ecological pressure on natural spaces, to the proliferation of computer-generated landscapes in the media that surrounds us, the show reflects the fevered world in which we now find ourselves. Planned before the pandemic but executed within it, the exhibition reflects the fracturing of our experience of the natural world in a time of lockdown. Collectively, the works are uncanny landscapes rendered strange through memory, nostalgia, and the influence of the screen.
Broken Images, Where the Sun Beats takes its title from T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922), written partially in response to the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1920. A few lines after this phrase appears, Eliot invites us to “come in under the shadow of this red rock,” a miasmic scene that brings to mind MacFarlane’s paintings of arid and fragmented deserts. Uninterested in creating empirical recordings of space, MacFarlane’s psychologically charged landscapes capture a central tension of our experience of the natural world, and a caution to experience it more fully once we make our way back to it.
Come in Under the Shadow Curatorial Essay for Rachel MacFarlane: Broken Images, Where the Sun Beats