Beyond the Northern Lights
Reviewed: February 6, 2007
By: Lynn Blaikie
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
32 pages, $19.95
Distance can be a blessing and curse.
I live in Dawson City and write this column from here. Many books come to
me as a result of this, but some don’t. Books that are sent directly to the
Star offices instead of to me sit there until I can pick them up on a trip
to town. That's the curse part.
The blessing comes when I pick though
the pile in the corner of the editor's office and find a gem like Lynn Blaikie's
Beyond the Northern Lights.
Blaikie's book came out last fall,
but my first look at it was after a recent trip to the city. She is a local
artist who is working in an art form called batik (or batique), which is a
type of painting, using waxed textiles which are dried by various methods
as the canvas, as well as the use of inks and pens. The result is a painting
with a fascinating pattern of crinkle lines as part of the surface.
The poem is a prayer.
“Raven, will you carry me
upon your wings I pray.
Will you fly me magic places?
Will you take my breath away?”
The illustrations are the visible expression
of that prayer.
The combination is absolutely delightful.