The Inner Eye is a series of collages which were created by the Vancouver-based artist Joan McCrimmon Hebb. They are attempts to visually portray or interpret various underlying themes which were explored by Glenn Gould in his so-called "Solitude Trilogy", the three radio documentaries he produced for CBC: "The Idea of North," "The Latecomers" and "The Quiet in the Land." This group of images is part of a larger set of collages linked to the "Solitude Trilogy" and are the ones the artist considers to be the most successful and the most suitable for reproduction on computer screens. They are reproduced here, with the permission of the artist, as an example of one artist's response to Glenn Gould.
The quotations from the "Solitude Trilogy" which accompany these images were chosen by the artist after creating the collages to aid the viewer to understand the associations in the artist's mind between the texts of Gould's documentaries and the graphic images she has created. The title, The Inner Eye, derives from another Gould source: an address delivered by the pianist to the 1964 graduating class of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto. In that speech he said: "...the inner ear of the imagination is very much more powerful a stimulant than is any amount of outward observation." While musicians naturally think of the imagination in aural terms, thus Gould's reference to "the inner ear," visual artists conceive of the imagination more in terms of an inner eye. Joan Hebb's inner eye was stimulated in this case by listening (with her outer ear) to the fruits of Glenn Gould's imagination.