North as Nature: An Ecocritacal Analysis of Royal Canadian Air Force Photography and Leslie Reid's Mapping Time

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Keating, Hannah Theresa




A semiotic analysis of visual narratives, this thesis explores representations of Arctic landscape to uncover discourses of North and Nature. In the mid-twentieth century, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was tasked with photographing the Canadian Arctic to construct accurate maps of the region. And, following a residency with the Canadian Forces Artists Program in 2013, contemporary artist Leslie Reid began an ongoing series of paintings and photo-mosaics: Mapping Time. This trans historical thesis is dedicated to an ecologically sensitive approach and considers how aerial photographs of the RCAF not only represent space, but also construct narratives of Canadian sovereignty and contribute to an idea of North as Nature. Integrating examples of RCAF photographs into her photomontages, Reid asks viewers to contemplate the history of Arctic mapping and her paintings welcome a critical approach to representations of place, space, and landscape.


Art History




Carleton University

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Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Art History

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Theses and Dissertations

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