Island Lecture Series – November 2019: “Shifting Sands: Capturing Climatic and Cultural Change Through Art” with Brenda Whiteway

Shifting sands: Capturing climatic and cultural change through art
Brenda Whiteway

Tuesday, November 19, at 7 p.m. in the SDU Main Building Faculty Lounge on the UPEI campus.

The Island Lecture Series November lecture features Charlottetown visual artist Brenda Whiteway talking about her most recent undertaking, the White Sands PEI Shoreline Project. Her presentation melds images and words to create “Shifting sands: Capturing Climatic and cultural change through art.”

The passage of time, transitions in nature, and shifting patterns of life have been recurrent themes in Brenda Whiteway’s creative work. The White Sands PEI Shoreline Project is a further exploration of these themes through paintings, drawings, photographs, and mixed-media of a small coastal area in White Sands, PEI, which has personal significance but resonates on a universal scale. The site originally belonged to her maternal grandparents who had a subsistence farm and fished off the Northumberland Strait close to Pictou Island. Brenda has been observing, recording, and researching the area’s weather patterns, light, tidal shifts, flora and fauna, history, and cultural ecology. For her, this is a metaphoric petri dish through which cultural and climactic shifts may be viewed on an intimate scale and expressed creatively. Capturing the elusive qualities of the seasons through various art mediums while plants bloom and fade, tides shift, earth freezes and thaws, and the sky reveals its many moods is an attempt to capture the genius loci of an area the artist holds dear.

Brenda Whiteway is a visual artist, specializing in painting, who lives and works on Prince Edward Island. She received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows, with her most recent solo exhibition being Botanicals, a series of twenty paintings of flora, at Ravenwood House (home of the Island Nature Trust), in March 2019. Brenda’s work is in many private and public collections, including Transport Canada, the Art Bank of the Canada Council, Prince Edward Island Art Bank, the permanent collection of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and Museum, and the City of Charlottetown. Art-making for Brenda is a way to find pattern amid chaos. Brenda’s art enables her to communicate ideas and convey a sense of the world around her. From conception of an idea, through the struggle of creating something from that idea, art-making is a process that provides her with sense and purpose. Brenda’s current work explores the passage of time—particularly as it relates to rural life, past and present—and the effects of urbanization and technology on traditional ways of life.


© 2021 Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island. All rights reserved.