Jeunes Citoyens / Young Citizens

Anna St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Fair address: Avalon Regional Fair

Project: Telling Stories Without Words; The Art and Ingenuity of Christopher Pratt

A book can describe our heritage using words, but is often closed and kept on a shelf. A work of art uses no words to describe our heritage and is usually on display for everyone to see and interpret. My 2017 Heritage Fair project is about the widely known Newfoundland artist Christopher Pratt and how he tells stories, not by pen on paper, but by painting pictures that are worth more than a thousand words.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

Though my project was extremely interesting overall, what stood out the most to me is Christopher Pratt’s creation of the Newfoundland and Labrador flag. Even though my first impression of seeing the flag is nothing more than a pattern of geometric shapes (like many other Newfoundlanders in the 1980’s when the flag was first introduced), now I realize it's filled a lot of broad symbolism. For example, the blue triangles represent the sea and the fishing industry; the red hollow triangles represent the struggles and efforts of getting where our province is today; the white color represents the snow and ice of winter; and the gold arrow is pointing to an even greater future.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

In today's world I feel that most people are always too busy to take the time to learn about their history and culture, or probably not even interested. The task of looking up something or reading has almost become a form of work - rather than an enjoyable experience for your own good. With art you can get a visual representation of things that a book has to convey using words (and more) in a lot less time. Art is always open to different interpretations and allows us to build our own understanding of a past event.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

While completing my heritage fair project I got the chance to examine three of Christopher Pratt's paintings. One of these paintings, entitled “Sheds in Winter”, was about the early fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. This painting exemplifies the hardships and challenges of men who worked in this industry and depicts the risks they had to take to earn a living. In contrast my life is much more simpler and a lot less stressful because my work is limited to school studies and completing facile chores around the house.

  • Lori P

    Great job! I learned something new today!
    10/07/2017 9:23:29 AM

  • Neal Gushue

    Storytelling is part of our culture, and you have done a great job with this.
    08/07/2017 2:08:29 PM

  • Jane Kieley

    Great job Anna...!
    07/07/2017 2:40:04 PM


    Brilliant work Anna :)
    07/07/2017 12:02:22 PM

  • Keith Boone

    Anna, I enjoyed your video very much. It was very professional and you kept my interest from the beginning to the end. I do some painting myself and your perspective on the work of Christopher Pratt was revealing. Good luck on your future . It is bright indeed.
    07/07/2017 11:41:55 AM

  • Elaine Boone

    Awesome job. Will appreciate the symbolism of the flag each time I see one.
    07/07/2017 11:34:24 AM

  • Kerri Green

    What a wonderful presentation Anna! Very well spoken and a great topic! Very impressed! I think paintings such as these are such a daily part of our lives here in Newfoundland that next time I see one I will stop and give it a little more thought. Well done!
    07/07/2017 11:23:43 AM

  • Andrew Vardy

    A very nice perspective on art and heritage. Great job!
    07/07/2017 8:25:54 AM

  • Regina

    Excellent job! Enjoyed learning more about Christopher Pratt.
    07/07/2017 7:59:49 AM

  • Paul Prcie

    Great job Anna. You got my vote!
    07/07/2017 7:44:57 AM

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Project partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
  • Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine Canadien
  • Government of Canada
  • HBC: Hudson's Bay Company
  • ecentricarts inc.