A heart poured onto the canvas—that’s the premise of Jenn Thornhill Verma’s latest collection. Reinvigorated by a long-awaited return home after pandemic lockdowns, Jenn’s contagiously happy palette and carefree coastal landscapes read like a breath of fresh air. Jenn often says she has an “Ottawa address and east coast heart.” If you too know the longing of home, or are simply moved by east coast scenery, then this collection is for you.
All but one of the works feature water reflections—a nod to how the artist felt after spending time in Newfoundland this summer and then Labrador this fall (“I didn’t recognize myself again until being home,” she says). The one scene without a reflection features a tuckamore tree, which the painter-author once described as “what hanging on for dear life looks like” (a reference from her 2019 book, “Cod Collapse,” p.195). Tuckamore trees grow in a stubborn and gnarly way thanks to a steady diet of “Wreckhouse” winds.
“We’ve all been beaten down in some way, we’ve lost bits of ourselves, we’ve lost so much,” says Jenn. “This collection is about hanging on, taking time for reflection and, above all, clinging to whatever bits of bright and shiny hope see you through.”
East Coast Heart comprises ten new works, now on display and available online exclusively at Santini Gallery.