Jordan Van Sewell, Ship of Fools, 1998

Bertram Brooker, Confessions (from Crime and Prejudice), 1934

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The phrase may be a cliché but the works on display in this exhibition speak volumes. The manner in which literature touches our lives is profound and personal.  Whether it is the act of reading a child a bedtime story, enjoying poetry in the park, or curling up in front of the fireplace to escape into a favourite classic, words move us and enrich our lives.

The images and objects featured in this exhibition draw from rich literary, poetic, and mythological traditions.  Although different in media, style, production, and motivation— a thematic continuity of storytelling prevails.

More than three dozen works of art drawn from the WAG’s collection contribute to A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.  Included are two ink drawings by Bertram Brooker, inspired by the writings of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. Also on view is Métis artist Rosalie Favell’s captivating photograph entitled I awoke to find my spirit had returned (1999), reimagining an episode from the story The Wizard of Oz. Engaging, large scale contemporary ceramic work by Akio Takamori, Maurice Savoie, and Jordon Van Sewell refer to mythological legends from ancient Greece, Rome, and China. Aboriginal myths and legends are invoked by the work of Norval Morisseau, Jackson Beardy, Abraham Anghik Ruben and Kiugak Ashoona. 

Regardless of the artists’ chosen means of expression, these works are relevant, relatable and speak uniquely to each viewer through the spirit of the literary tradition.

This exhibition is the culmination of a six-month internship by Frances Gail, a Masters student in the University of Winnipeg’s inaugural Curatorial Practices. The WAG is pleased to partner with the U of W in this important program.



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