Canadian, b. 1951
Scrap Bay, from the series Through the Mill, 2002
oil on canvas
274.3 x 198.1 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program/Oeuvre achetée avec l'aide du programme d'aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du Canada and with funds from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor, funds administered through The Winnipeg Foundation
Scrap Bay is a major work from Steve Gouthro’s painting series Through the Mill that evolved from the artist’s visits to Gerdau Ameristeel located in Selkirk, Manitoba. While visiting the mill and documenting various processes through photography, Gouthro was struck by the environment in which scrap metal is transformed into usable steel. Scrap Bay encapsulates the artist’s focus on degeneration, decay, and regeneration as a universal topic that finds a literal manifestation in the activities of the steel mill. In the WAG work we see detailed representations of the scrap material (seemingly useless castoffs) that will be smelted to become useful steel for new projects. The tension between the attraction and repulsion towards heavy industry in our contemporary society is boldly highlighted by Gouthro’s exquisite painting technique.