The prints and paintings of Walter J. Phillips are a celebration of the Canadian landscape. He depicts scenes that feel familiar to many of us. In them, we see the industries that were integral to the construction of this country, like farming, lumbering, and fishing. From the prairies to the West Coast, his scenes show how settlers to this land were living in the early 1900s. In fact, Phillips himself was one of the many Europeans who emigrated to Canada. He settled in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1913. Today, his artwork is a subjective record of the ways in which everyday settlers embodied and interpreted the national propaganda of this period. Canada was Phillip’s muse, and its formation and growth facilitated his practice.
Through the work of artists like Jeffrey M. Thomas, Arthur Renwick, and Diana Thorneycroft, the settler narrative of prosperity, expansion, and land ownership is reframed. In this exhibition, you will see artworks that represent the cultural climate of Canada in the early 20th century and contemporary reflections addressing the lasting impact of these national narratives.
WAG@The Park presents a rotating series of exhibitions curated by WAG-Qaumajuq at The Pavilion at Assiniboine Park Conservancy (APC). Art is selected primarily from the APC collection, as well as from WAG-Qaumajuq’s vast holdings.