Painting a Declared Surplus

Artist Steven Rhude gives voice to lighthouses that have been tagged as obsolete.

Steven Rhude's painting of a candy-striped lighthouse, tipped to the right by the weight of a rope pulling at its top from the hands of an unnamed stranger is unsettling; lighthouses are a thread in the landscape fabric of the east coast, or any coast of Canada. But Steven Rhude's new exhibition, Declared Surplus, speaks to a risk that's all too real. "Most of my subject matter, since I've lived here, has been coastal or rural oriented, but very much in the sense of how the urban agenda has affected it," says Rhude. "With the government recently declaring a list of lighthouse surplus, it got me thinking that it's time to step up to the plate and do something comprehensive." Rhude adds that his paintings hold a tension between a literal site---one you might recognize---and a referential place. "Sort of fact and fiction," he says. "What I want to suggest is that these buildings are more than just obsolete, utilitarian objects, but when you declare them surplus, suddenly they lose their voice, metaphorically. In the painter's eyes they take on a figurative journey---and where they're going, no one knows." Talk to Rhude about his work, the surplus and our lighthouses at his opening reception this Friday, 7pm.

About The Author

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment


Did you vote in advance polls for the 2021 federal election?

Get more Halifax

Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.