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Item Name: Painting
Title: Perspective, Live as Birds series
Maker: Grant McConnell
Year: 1999
Country: Canadian
Materials: arcylic on wood
Measurements: work: 50.5 cm x 40.5 cm
ID Number: ART 001
Legal Status: ART RENTAL

Extended Label Info: A magpie at the bottom of the tree looks up, directing our eyes to a phrase in cursive script. The words, “perspective, shat upon”, are a combination of image and salty language that suggests a visual joke or bar-room fable. This painting is part of a series, “Live as Birds”, a set of smaller works included in an exhibition with large-scale narrative paintings which toured nationally in 1992-93. Entitled ironically as “Tales of Dominion”, the exhibition took a critical look at how Canadian identity has been constructed through retelling historical events. The word “Dominion” here references the process of colonization, and alludes to an old name for our country, “The Dominion of Canada” which signified our status as a territory under the control of the British government. McConnell’s visual allusions and puns may invite us to laugh, but also to rethink the events that we think of as foundational to our national values. McConnell is also deeply inspired by art history, and though these works are densely painted on rough plywood, his compositions and colour choices often refer to earlier historical works or book illustrations, such as Aesop’s fables. Grant McConnell (1958 - ) was born in Ontario, and studied at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB (1978-1980) before moving to Saskatoon, for his BFA (1983) and MFA (1994) from the University of Saskatchewan. In addition to painting and curation, McDonnell is a strong leader in the local arts community. His work has been exhibited internationally, and is held in numerous private and public collections, including the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Mendel Art Gallery, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina Public Library, and SaskTel.