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Item Name: Print
Title: Ancient African Passenger Sheep
Maker: Rita McKeough
Year: 1984
Country: Canadian
Materials: lithograph
Measurements: in frame: 72 cm x 92 cm
ID Number: PC2017.19

Extended Label Info: Rita McKeough is primarily known as a performance and installation artist. Her works are often complex, collaborative efforts that touch on serious issues such as displacement, domestic abuse, ecological damage, and industrial (often agricultural) labour – addressed with surprising wit and humour. McKeough’s lithograph, Ancient African Passenger Sheep (a pun on the words “sheep” and “ship”) depicts a sheep being used as a passenger raft, floating down a river which is flanked by fanciful palms. This surreal and mythic scene, like those often constructed by the artist as immersive and ambitiously-realized environments or strenuous performances, imagines a parallel world not unlike our own, where capitalist ambitions override a moral imperative not to exploit the labour of others, both human and animal. Rita McKeough (1951- ) was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. McKeough completed her BFA at the University of Calgary in 1975 and her MFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1979. McKeough has been working as an interdisciplinary artist for over thirty years, and has contributed to Canada's strong reputation in performance and installation art. Her work has been shown in artist-run centers, museums, galleries and festivals across the country. A source of inspiration and encouragement for many young artists, she is currently an instructor at the Alberta College of Art and Design and taught for several years at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is a drummer in a rock band and performs regularly at small Calgary venues. Rita McKeough lives in Calgary, Alberta. In 2009 she was the winner of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.