In order to provide viewers with a range of cultural representations, works by contemporary First Nations artists Carl Beam (1943-2005), Jane Ash Poitras (b. 1950-), and KC Adams (b. 1971-), among others, are shown in proximity to earlier paintings by non-native artists. Cornelius Krieghoff (1815-1872), and George Thresher (1780-1857), are known for paintings that included First Nations encampments and portraits. Portraits of Inuit community life painted by George Pepper (1903-1962), and Kathleen Daly (1898-1994), during their 1950s expedition to the Canadian North are shown in relation to photographs taken by George Hunter (b. 1919-), on his 1946 visit to Baker Lake and Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut. They indicate a very different lifestyle than the domestic scenes in Cape Dorset drawn by Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook (b. 1969-).
Photography has been an influential medium but the explosion of digital imagery in the last decade is remarkably widespread. Mobile phones incorporating cameras provide for instant connectivity and widespread use and dissemination of visual images. The self-portraits and portraits (including miniatures and cased photographs) are presented in marked contrast to the now prevailing trend of the arms length self-portrait so often used to update a Facebook profile image or album. This dynamic, visually rich online environment is a space art museums are pursuing, but it does not lessen the value of making original works of art accessible-it remains a fundamental role.
Depiction looks to open up a conversation about artistic intentions, perceived meaning, and cultural contexts, while examining how artists continue to represent their ideas in ways that challenge and enrich our cultural heritage.
The exhibition is curated by Kevin Rice and sponsored by Hyndman and Company Limited