My mixed media renderings of Hudson's Bay blankets are smaller than life-size but larger than life in their meaning. They hold the shape of a blanket and the colour of a blanket, but their two dimensional outline, signify far more than a warm covering to protect us from the cold. These blankets are the woolly essence of Canada. They hint of wood smoke and weary trappers, of exploration and exploitation, canoes and commerce and the history of a people and the making of a nation.
They are fabric icons of Canada, part of A Canadian Portrait, a mixed media exhibition at the Winchester Galleries Oak Bay April 11th - May 1st. They will join Hockey Sweaters, Canadian Country Churches, Moose and Prime Ministers sporting everything from Lumber Jackets to Buckskins. With titles such as "Lost in the Woods" and "The Original Six" A Canadian Portrait is a textural exploration of the meaning of Canada, a rendition of warp and woof that has brought me first to question and then to embrace my homeland.
I will also debut my Canadian Story Boxes, an ongoing series of interactive mixed media assemblage depicting Canadian stories such as Louis Riel, John McRae (Flanders Fields), The Rocket (Maurice Richard), Billy Bishop and of course the Blanket.
The Group of Seven made paintings of where we live, not who we are. I want to create work that tells the story of the people, the history, the iconic imagery that are the fabric of this country. On and off for the past 15 years I have been trying to create art that conjures up the spirit of Canada.