Tom Thomson and Other Cultural Icons
With all of the discussion around Canada 150 this year; the Gallery’s collection staff and volunteers spent a lot of time looking at Canadian metaphors, from classic to cliché that artists have used to represent Canada.
Selections from the Gallery’s permanent collection include artwork by John Abrams, Kenojuak Ashevak, John Boyle, Richard Gorenko, Andrew Harwood, Joan Hawksbridge, Don Holman, Tim Jocelyn, George McLean, Norval Morrisseau, Allen Smutylo and Diana Thorneycroft. Even with this small sampling, it is fascinating to see the common symbols and recurring themes, which appear in many of the works.
Their subject matter, at least at first glance, appear to evoke iconic Canadian references. Your personal perspective and background, will change how you interpret them. Some will see these images as a celebration of Canada’s wildlife, sports and historic achievements, while others will see them as just the opposite.
Now it is time for you to decide whether these artists are paying homage to national cultural icons, making political statements or just poking fun at ourselves.
Curated by David Huff, Curator of Collections, and Heather McCorquodale, Collections Assistant*, and researched by Joan Hawksbridge and Rosemary Preuss, Collections Volunteers.
*Funding for this position has been made possible through a generous donation from Elisabeth and Trevor Falk.
Image: John Boyle, Tom with Muskoxen, 1975, Gift of Judy and Ken Thomson, 1977