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Paleogirls, Swimmers, and Ulysses (Lanterns)

UlyssesMark Nisenholt
Each 1.5m high x 2.5m wide (5.5'h x 8'w)
Digital images on laminate glass
2011
Prince Arthur's Landing - Pier 2

Between 2009 and 2010 the City provided local artists with multiple opportunites to submit proposals for artwork to be installed at Prince Arthur's Landing.  The selected artwork by Thunder Bay-based artist Mark Nisenholt was provided in response to the competition theme “Animate the Journey to the End of the Pier 2."

Three cedar 'lanterns' on Pier 2 feature three of Nisenholt's images. They were printed and secured between sheets of laminate glass, and glow during the day from southern sunlight and at night by an interior lamp.

They playfully explore the theme of Man’s relationship to the Water and to Nature in general. The images are meant to elicit feelings and thoughts that are compatible with the vast spaces and contemplative state of mind that the lakeshore embodies.

Paleogirls references Paleolithic Venus figurines such as the Venus of Willendorf and similar stone carvings found in the company of our earliest stone-age ancestors. Three figures gather by the water's edge, exploring its shallows, possibly for the first time. These figures are made of pebbles, sand and mud, indicating their affinity with the Earth.

Swimmers takes a more futuristic point of view in which human beings are less material and more malleable. Two technologically advanced humans venture further into the water. They are composed of struts and wires and tubes and are semitransparent. They are meant to signify beings that are becoming less material and more digital. Nevertheless, they still feel a need to make contact with the water.

The figure in Ulysses could be seen as a giant God-like figure overlooking a sailboat, or a normal human playing with a toy boat. This image is meant to raise questions about our relationship to our simpler pleasures, our relationship to the water, and our dependency upon the mercy of the Gods.

-Mark Nisenholt (artist)