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Diana Thorneycroft: Canada, Myth and History

July 17 to November 29, 2009

Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft is known for creating provocative and controversial photographs that challenge her audience’s viewing experience. Her seemingly comical images composed of innocent subjects—dolls and toy figurines—and set against the landscapes of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries reveal, upon a closer examination, a deeper and darker meaning.

Early Snow with Bob and Doug  (of the Group of Seven Awkward Moments  series) depicts iconic Canadian characters Bob and Doug McKenzie surrounded by wolves while getting intoxicated in Tom Thomson’s Early Snow  wilderness. Their oblivion to their forthcoming demise is a direct play on the idiosyncrasy, anxiety, and contradictions that form Canadian identity.

In the words of Thorneycroft, “Canadian history is full of awkward moments and that is more of a reality than this heroic landscape that the Group of Seven portrayed.”

Through her dioramic compositions of everyday life and historical events unfolding against the majestic landscapes of the artists associated with the Group of Seven, Thorneycroft explores notions of national pride and cultural ideologies whilst deconstructing mythological narratives. Imbued with national motifs and everyday paraphernalia, her works uncover stories about Canadian life—past and present, real and fictive.

Opening at the McMichael on July 18, 2009 and curated by the McMichael’s Sharona Adamowicz-Clements, Diana Thorneycroft: Canada, Myth and History  is an exhibition of Thorneycroft’s recent photographic series: Group of Seven Awkward Moments  and Canada: A People’s History. Over twenty of Thorneycroft’s photographs including newly created works, exploring Canada’s “national identity” will be on display along with a select number of associated landscapes by the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson and Emily Carr.  

Read Murray Whyte's article in The Toronto Star

Exhibition Merchandise

Early Snow with Bob and Doug

Diana Thorneycroft
Early Snow with Bob and Doug
, 2005
digital photograph
Collection of the Artist

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