Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Visual Arts


Patrick Mahon


This thesis applies the literary theory ecocriticism, in particular ecofeminism - a distinct eco-philosophy within the larger discourse of ecocriticism - to the art historical genre of Canadian landscape painting, with a specific investigation into the impact paintings by women artists from the 1930s have had on Canadian society’s relationship with nature. Particular attention is placed on the works of Pegi Nicol MacLeod (1904 - 1949) and Prudence Heward (1896 - 1947). This ecocritical framework is then employed to examine the contemporary landscape paintings of Canadian artists Eleanor Bond and Monica Tap, as well as my own art practice. In order to gain insight into how society’s treatment of nature has been influenced by the western tradition of landscape painting, the past is used to interpret the present, while the present is used to gain an understanding of the past in hopes of reaching a more sustainable method of re-presenting the nature/culture relationship in the painted landscape.



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