The work of artist David Blackwood is carried in collections and public galleries around the world but there's one collection he says he can't break into – the one purchased by Newfoundland and Labrador.

Blackwood says the government won't buy his work as part of its procurement program because he doesn't live here anymore.

"The fact we own property and we pay taxes, and we're not qualified to be represented in the collection here, unless somebody give it to them, is not a good situation," he said.

Blackwood moved away from Wesleyville as a young man to work and study in Ontario.

He said he comes back to work in his Newfoundland studio every year.

A retrospective of Blackwood's work opens at The Rooms on Saturday.

Newfoundland and Labrador's Art Procurement Program had a budget of $125,000 last year.