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Item Name: Photograph
Title: Group of Seven Awkward Moments (In Algonquin Park)
Maker: Diana Thorneycroft
Year: 2007
Country: Canadian
Materials: chromogenic digital photograph
Measurements: overall: 40 in x 50 in
ID Number: PC2014.2.1

Extended Label Info: Known for her provocative and dramatic photographs, Diana Thorneycroft’s work presents a unique and mischievous side to Canadian identity. Through carefully staged dioramas, Thorneycroft uses playful figurines to create scenes that display familiar icons of Canadian culture but positioned to create discomfort or obsurdity. In her series Group of Seven Awkward Moments, Thorneycroft uses recreated landscape paintings from the acclaimed Group of Seven painters as the backdrop for scenes that juxtapose the peaceful nature of the paintings. Set against the backdrop of Tom Thomson’s painting, In Algonquin Park, unfolds a scene of familiarity and horror as a band of school age children experience the worst possible outcome in the innocent Canadian pastime of licking a metal pole in the dead of winter. Perhaps one of her more playful depictions of Canadian culture, Thorneycroft is reinterpreting the narrative to dismantle the idealized view of Canadian culture and identity. Diana Thorneycroft (1956- ) is currently based out of Winnipeg. She received a BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1979 and her MA from the University of Wisconsin in 1980. Thorneycroft often explores the darker side of supposedly innocent or benign objects like dolls, toys and cartoon characters. Her series, Group of Seven Awkward Moments was selected as one of The Top 10 Exhibitions of 2008 by Canadian Art Magazine. Thorneycroft is the recipient of numerous awards including an Assistance to Visual Arts Long-term Grant from the Canada Council, and a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris. Her work is in various collections such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.