Chang­ing cli­mate

Back Har­bour artist hopes to raise cli­mate change aware­ness with lat­est piece

The Central Voice - - Front Page - KYLE GREENHAM kyle.greenham@the­cen­tralvoice.ca

Back Har­bour artist hopes to raise aware­ness through paint­ing

Daniel An­stey is us­ing his pre­cise artis­tic tal­ents to show how cli­mate change will af­fect New­found­land and Labrador.

The first in this painter’s new series is an ab­stract dis­play of At­lantic puffins swarm­ing across an ocean of rapidly mov­ing ice­bergs. The piece is ti­tled “Puffins Call­ing,” and fea­tures 59 puffins to match the artist’s age.

“It’s to make aware­ness of cli­mate change around the world but es­pe­cially how it af­fects our area and the At­lantic puffins,” An­stey said. “Be­cause of the warmer waters, they have to travel north now and find new nest­ing grounds. Whether they find th­ese new ar­eas or not re­mains to be seen.”

An­stey has worked on eight­foot by four-foot piece for the past four months.

With nearly 100 other paint­ings, he says it’s one of his best pieces yet.

Born in the scenic Twill­ingate Island coast­line of Back Har­bour, An­stey took an early in­ter­est in paint­ing.

The set­ting of his home com­mu­nity pro­vided an easy muse for recre­at­ing the world through his paint brush.

While he’s worked at the craft since he was a teenager, it’s only in the past nine years An­stey has taken the plunge into work­ing as a full-time painter.

“I wanted to be an artist when I was 14 or 15, but in our gen­er­a­tion it wasn’t a thing you felt you could do to make a liv­ing,” he said. “It took many years to get back on the track of what I re­ally wanted to do.

“I never re­ally took the paint brush down, but now I do it all the time – I live and breathe paint­ing.”

An­stey says what he en­joys most about paint­ing is see­ing his paint­ings in­voke a re­sponse in oth­ers. With the cli­mate change-fo­cus of his new series, he hopes th­ese new paint­ings will par­tic­u­larly res­onate with those who come in con­tact with them.

Door-to-door

An­stey had a gallery for two years in Twill­ingate, but is now liv­ing in St. John’s. Since be­ing there, An­stey is known in the Avalon area for tak­ing his ve­hi­cle around neigh­bour­hoods and shar­ing his paint­ings with peo­ple door-to-door.

For the artist, this trav­el­ling artist-style busi­ness model has proved suc­cess­ful so far.

“The hard­est part of be­ing an artist is find­ing a venue to dis­play your work,” said An­stey. “I’m a peo­ple per­son and I wanted to try some­thing dif­fer­ent, so I took this route.”

How­ever, with the Twill­ingate area be­ing rein­vented as a flour­ish­ing tourist desti­na­tion, the love of art in that area has also grown ex­po­nen­tially since An­stey left home. He hopes to re­turn with a greater promi­nence next sum­mer, host­ing a two-week show­ing in Back Har­bour dur­ing the Fish, Fun and Folk Fes­ti­val.

“It’s amaz­ing to see how art has flour­ished in the Twill­ingate area. Af­ter I left it seems like art has taken off out there,” he said. “My work’s been much bet­ter re­ceived this year than in the past, and a lot of busi­nesses around town dis­play my work now.”

An­stey is now at work on his sec­ond piece for the cli­mate change series. This one will fo­cus on gan­nets, the div­ing seabird com­monly seen along the prov­ince’s coasts.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Twill­ingate-born painter Daniel An­stey has been work­ing as a full-time artist for the past nine years. His lat­est series of paint­ings will put a cen­tral fo­cus on cli­mate change aware­ness – and how it will af­fect New­found­land and Labrador.

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