It’s 3 pm on a blustery day in May when I catch up with Luke Naylor at a coffee shop on the Halifax waterfront. He’s a man in transition, getting his footing with new job in the digital space and exploring endless possibilities. There is a little hint of awkwardness as we start to chat about his art and the influence that northern Nova Scotia still plays in what he creates while the harsh sounds of city construction booms on the streets behind us. Our meeting place and conversation is well defined but a contrast to his work that creates questions and a narrative that is open for interpretation.
While life and his imagination have taken him many places, Luke is still very attached to his Pictou County roots. He says that his paintings are an attempt to make the local more visible with the inclusion of figures always referencing the shoreline. “My work is rooted in the experiences of particular people in a particular time and place.
This painting which Luke has named “I Wish I Was the Moon Tonight,” leaves the viewer with certain questions. Why are there two people at night wearing shorts? What are they doing, why are they looking at the moon?
Luke says that he also uses the figures in his paintings as a way to explore the process. “The painting itself is a narrative. Layers of paint can be seen, texture that takes time to dry, time to contemplate, and time to lay on another layer are visible on the canvas – decisions of the process of painting itself is revealed to the viewer. The work then in both its process and its subject matter is very authentic and honest. I want my work to stand as an honest attempt for other people to recall memories of themselves, a testimony if you will of a time and place”.
Luke Naylor graduated from NSCAD in 2000 with a major in painting. Since 2000 Luke has been in numerous group and solo shows in various galleries including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Argyle Fine Art in Halifax, NS. For more on Luke and his art visit www.naylorfineart.com