The Centre for All Canadians
Robert Harris, The Studio Boy’s Private View, 1886, oil on canvas, 89.5 x 74.4 cm. Gift of an anonymous donor, 1978, CAGH-571

Depiction

Robert Harris, The Studio Boy’s Private View, 1886, oil on canvas, 89.5 x 74.4 cm. Gift of an anonymous donor, 1978, CAGH-571
A selection of primarily historical works from the Gallery's Canadian Art Collection animated by including thematically related contemporary art works.

Depiction brings together thematically linked artworks that consider issues of identity and representation within historical, modern and contemporary Canadian art practices.

This section of the exhibition focuses on three groups of images related to PEI. The most recent being photographic transparencies by Jin-me Yoon, presented in nine double-sided light-boxes entitled, Touring Home From Away. Yoon is Korean born (1960), and based in Vancouver; she began this work during her 1998 residency here at the gallery. Yoon’s narrative installation prods us to consider how we as visitors, residents, travellers, immigrants, and neighbours, experience this place as she delves into her own cultural identity and sense of belonging.

Early watercolours by Robert Harris (1849-1919), who emigrated to PEI with his parents and siblings from Wales, UK, to Charlottetown in 1856 depict Charlottetown prior to PEI’s entry into Confederation in 1873. Harris recorded Charlottetown and its environs in a matter of fact manner, though clearly he was also experimenting with colour effects. His pen and ink drawings of Mi’kmaq basket and barrel makers at Rocky Point, across the harbour from Charlottetown, have more of an ethnographic sensibility than the picturesque landscapes.

The journalistic or documentary aesthetic seen in photographer George Hunter’s (b. 1921), mid-20th century images of fishing communities, agricultural fairs, and the Island’s tourism industry, feel at times staged for promotional use; at other times they reveal a more nuanced observation of people and place. Depiction intends to open up a conversation about how artists reflect, generate and challenge our cultural heritage.

Organized by Confederation Centre Art Gallery with the support of The Canada Council for the Arts and curated by Kevin Rice.

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