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Item Name: Photograph
Title: Group of Seven Awkward Moments (Northern Lights)
Maker: Diana Thorneycroft
Year: 2007
Country: Canadian
Materials: chromogenic digital photograph
Measurements: ?
ID Number: PC2014.2.2

Extended Label Info: Known for her provocative and dramatic photographs, Diana Thorneycroft’s work presents a unique and mischievous side of Canadian identity. Through carefully staged dioramas, Thorneycroft uses playful figurines to create scenes of familiar Canadian icons displayed in a way that encourages discomfort or criticality. 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. In Northern Lights, the recreated painting by Tom Thomson overlooks an igloo engulfed in flames while the onlookers speculatively observe the ironic scene. In addition to this, Thorneycroft is also challenging her viewers to think critically about how Canadian culture, mythologies and history are portrayed. 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.