The thin slab that is the Northern tip of Newfoundland is all that interrupts legions of blue under the domed roof of the lantern room. And yet, as dazzling as the horizon is, the light that shines from within the stone tower is even more brilliant. There, hundreds of pieces of cut glass intensify the beacon, casting its light far and wide.
Sa belle lumière: Lightscapes of Point Amour is an expression of love for the light from within. Brushstrokes like cut glass carry the light of this Labrador landscape using unexpected, playful hues.
A hundred years after her great grandmother, Lucy Bolger, worked as a maid servant at Point Amour, the artist, Jenn Thornhill Verma returned to walk in her footsteps and follow her light. Sa belle lumière is also a nod to Lucy, one of the light-station staff who responded to the crash of the HMS Raleigh, on August 8, 1922, when the ship ran aground in the shallow waters of Forteau Bay, about 0.5 km south of Point Amour Lighthouse.
Last September, the artist set up her oil paints beneath the tower in the gallery space where the collection is featured. In 2021, an exhibit was not on her mind, but inspired by Lucy, the lighthouse and Labrador too, the artist’s visible brushstrokes, distinct on the canvas, became one landscape, then another and another.
Sa belle lumière: Lightscapes of Point Amour is a collection of oil landscapes on canvas, all custom (maple) framed. The exhibit draws inspiration from vantage points on and around the light-station – from L’Anse Amour to the light-tower itself.
Here, in this digital art gallery experience, visitors can see the vantage points that inspired each painting.
All works are available for purchase through Santini Gallery. Unless otherwise noted, all photo credits are the artist.
About the artist
Jenn Thornhill Verma is a journalist, landscape painter, filmmaker and mother of three from Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), now living in Ottawa with her family. She has Master’s degrees of Fine Arts (Creative Nonfiction, University of King’s College) and Science (Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland), is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a member of the Oxford Climate Journalism Network, and executive lead of the Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges. In 2019, she published her first book, “Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland’s Saltwater Cowboys,” which features her cover art and was shortlisted for a historical writing award at the 2021 Atlantic Book Awards. In 2020, her landscape art was recognized for best cover (magazine) at the Atlantic Journalism Awards (AJAs), where she has been a repeat nominee. Also nominated for best new magazine writer at the National Magazine Awards (2019), Jenn has bylines in Canadian Geographic, CBC, The Globe and Mail, The Narwhal, Reader’s Digest, and has a monthly Seasplainer column in The Independent newspaper in NL.
The following are not included in the Point Amour exhibit, but the artist painted these during her first trip to the light-station and are available through Santini Gallery.