Local Artist Brings the Agawa Coastal Trail to Life

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Lake Superior.
A preview of Poldmaa's work. Photo provided by Taimi Poldmaa.

Local artist Taimi Poldmaa has brought the Agawa Coastal Trail to life with her latest exhibition of Lake Superior inspired paintings. The exhibition opens tonight, Thursday June 7th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at The Tech. The show will continue Friday through Sunday from 12pm-5pm.

The exhibition will comprise of 15 large format oil paintings that will guide the audience along some of Northern Ontario’s most impressive natural wonders.

Born in London, England but currently living in the Sault, Poldmaa’s love for nature was developed at a young age while growing up in a small mining town in northern Ontario. She told SaultOnline, “My art reflects my adventurous nature, established early on in childhood from exploring the wilderness in which we were immersed.”

She is an oil painter of landscapes, focusing on contemporary and representational works with abstractions of colour, line, and shape.

Since 2011, Poldmaa has created three series of paintings that are inspired by geological phenomena as well as man-made structures that have become part of local heritage, those being Aspirations of the Soul 2012, A Northern Perspective 2015/16, and the current work – Agawa Coastal Trail.

Of the work, Poldmaa explained, “Each series of work has presented a distinct challenge and given me an opportunity to put into practice a new technique or an abstract approach to experiment with.”

Lake Superior Provincial Park is her subject of choice because she is “Intrigued by the colours and shapes of rock formations and how the shifting of seasons alters the hues of woodland, skies, and water.” This particular exhibit, the Agawa Coastal Trail, depicts the ancient trail of dense woods, moss laden rocks, and enormous granite structures. Rugged and picturesque, the Agawa Coastal Trail follows the water’s edge, snaking around massive boulders and sheer cliffs of granite, with tree trunks, rocks, and paths cloaked in bright mosses and lichen. This unique northern gem is also home to talus caves, formed when the granite cliffs broke apart along the vertical and horizontal joints, which must be crawled under and through.

Poldmaa was captivated by this area, telling SaultOnline, “I decided to paint it with a more abstract approach, transitioning to a new phase in my work that includes using impasto paste to create the surface texture of the canvas. The rock structures present juxtaposes of values and texture – dark shadows with fragments of light patterning across the rough surface of stone, striking the smoothness of velvety moss. Strong contrasts of values and of textures are the dominant design elements of these paintings, responding to the mystical atmosphere I experienced while navigating the trail.”

She continued, “The spiritual aspect is strong since this trial is ancient and the land is rich in Aboriginal history. I am motivated by the geographical and cultural history of the land, especially of places less travelled.”

Being an artist who is inspired by exploring natural landscapes and appreciates richness, harmony, and unity of colour, contrasting intensities, it is no wonder that she finds such a profound connection to the Lake Superior Region.

For more information on the exhibit, please click here.

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Riley Smith
Riley Smith is an enthusiastic and versatile critical thinker who has been with SaultOnline since January 2018. She holds a double Honours Degree in History and Political Science from Algoma University, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Relations and Event Management from Sault College. In addition to obtaining her Google Marketing Fundamentals certification, she is also working towards a Certificate in Diversity and Intercultural Relations. She has hands-on experience in social media marketing, media relations, public relations and news writing, event planning, and stakeholder relations, developed through experience as the First Nations and Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator for the Missanabie Cree First Nation. When she's not reporting, you can find her reading, working out, spending time with her basset hound, Douggie, or seeing the world, one breathtaking view at a time.