Mara Korkola: On the Edge: The East Coast Trail

February 5 - 26, 2022

Nicholas Metivier Gallery is pleased to announce On the Edge: The East Coast Trail, an exhibition of new paintings by Mara Korkola. The exhibition will open on February 5th and run until February 26th, with an opening day reception on Saturday, February 5th. This is Korkola's seventh solo exhibition at the gallery.


In September 2021, Mara Korkola traveled to Newfoundland for one month to complete a residency on the Avalon Peninsula. Although it was her first time there, she immediately felt a sense of familiarity. The rocky cliffs plunging into the water and the arctic flora and stunted, wind-bent trees reminded her of the north shore of Lake Superior where she grew up. What captivated her in Newfoundland was the Atlantic coastal water, and this is the focus of this exhibition. 


Korkola has always painted her immediate surroundings, working from her photographs of residential streets in downtown Toronto or the Ontario wilderness. While in Newfoundland, she spent much of her time walking and photographing the ocean from the vantage point of the historic East Coast Trail. She delved further into studying the turbulent waters by making paintings on location where she recorded the characteristics of the different wave structures as well as the specific quality of light. Once she returned to her Toronto studio, Korkola began referencing her photographs as well as her plein air paintings to recall the precise feeling of being on the edge of the ocean.


It is the movement and energy of water that I am painting. The energy of waves can originate from far away, or sometimes nearby when it combines with other forces like wind or other waves. It reaches the shore where it is dispersed or joins forces with oncoming waves after bouncing back off a rock wall, known as reflective waves. It is this seemingly chaotic movement I was studying while walking the East Coast Trail, observing, and making plein air paintings. I began to understand the patterns and logic in the surf, watching and waiting for the next cycle to come. Not the same waves, but a similar version of what I was focusing on to make a painting.


 – Mara Korkola


To watch an exhibition walkthrough, click here.