Canadian artist David Blackwood, known for etchings of Newfoundland life, dies at 80

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The family of Canadian artist David Blackwood says he died Saturday in Ontario at the age of 80.

Blackwood was born in the Newfoundland town of Wesleyville, and though he stayed in Ontario after graduating from the Ontario College of Art in 1963, much of his art documented life in outport Newfoundland.

His etchings depict men using ropes to haul houses across the land and sea, in a nod to the government-led resettlement programs that sprang up in the province in the 1950s.

Other Blackwood works include fishermen packed into wooden fishing boats, heading to and from land, or drifting away from a burning ship as a massive whale lurks beneath the surface of the water.

Emma Butler represented Blackwood for about 35 years at her gallery in St. John’s, and she said in an interview today his work was about the triumph of survival.

She says though he may have spent most of his time in Ontario, Newfoundland never left him, and she says he maintained a studio in Wesleyville until a few years ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2022.


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