Diana Thorneycroft Exhibition at the WAG Skews the Canadian Experience

Against the backdrop of the Tom Thomson painting Early Snow, Bob and Doug McKenzie are having a final brewski before being devoured by wolves. The Trailer Park Boys are calmly ignoring an approaching tornado in Franklin Carmichael’s The Nickel Belt. A drunken Santa Claus has wiped out, killing both himself and Rudolph in Edwin Holgate’s painting Ski Tracks.

In Canada, Myth and History, Group of Seven Awkward Moments Series, Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft takes historical Canadian landscapes, combines them with her own complex dioramas, and records them with her camera. The result is a clichéd representation of the unique Canadian experience. Diana Thorneycroft: Canada, Myth and History, Group of Seven Awkward Moments Series opens at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on June 12, running until August 22. There will be an official public opening of the exhibition at 7:30pm, Thursday, June 17.

The Awkward Moments Series are images of everyday life and historical events familiar to many Canadians. They represent pop culture, historical figures, fairytales, celebrated personalities, and people absorbed in very “Canadian” activities like fishing, playing hockey, and skating. The initial viewer reaction of laughter pleases Thorneycroft, but looking deeper her pairing of traditional landscape paintings with black humour reveals the darker side of human nature and exposes the reality of our Canadian identity.

“Thorneycroft is constantly pushing the envelope,” says Mary Reid, Curator, Contemporary Art and Photography. “In this new body of work she takes on the Canadian ideals and stereotypes central to the paintings of the Group of Seven, adding her own contemporary twists which are simultaneously humourous and troubling.”

“Diana Thorneycroft is one of Canada’s most daring and innovative artists,” says WAG Director Stephen Borys. “Over three decades her work has encompassed drawing and printmaking, sculpture, set construction, and photography. Difference media, but always dealing with the human body and the human condition as she does in the Awkward Moments series.”

Diana Thorneycroft: Canada, Myth and History, Group of Seven Awkward Moments Series has been organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, curated by Assistant Curator Sharona Adamowicz-Clements. It is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Winnipeg media sponsor: Pattison Outdoor Advertising.



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