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Item Name: Painting
Title: Hologram: Cloud Over Civil Disobedience (Regina 1935)
Maker: Grant McConnell
Year: 1995
Country: Canadian
Materials: acrylic on wood
Measurements: overall: 174 cm x 243 cm
ID Number: PC96.5
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: McConnell’s work explores themes of Canadian history and cultural identity, and questions “official” versions of history. Using an over-size scale, McDonnell makes reference to the genre of European “History” paintings, but instead of documenting an official event, he incorporates an image of the “Regina Riot” which took place during the Great Depression, a time of wide spread un-employment and economic disparity in Canada. The riot occurred during the “On to Ottawa Trek”, a protest march against the living conditions in government work camps. A large group of unemployed men walking from BC to Ottawa and detained in Regina for 3 weeks, planned a protest for Dominion Day, July 1, 1935. Their rally in Regina’s Market Square turned from a peaceful gathering of trekkers and civilians into a violent riot as Regina City Police and the RCMP attempted to disperse the gathering. The day ended tragically in death, injury and destruction. The event served as both a galvanizing moment for the Canadian labour movement and prairie socialism, and as a cautionary tale. Civil disobedience plays an important role in democracy, but established governments are wary of potential violence; equally, citizens must both respect the law and guard against civil injustice. This painting was purchased in honour of Mr. George Bothwell, a Board Member of Regina Public Library for over 25 years who dedicated his work to the cultural, historical and political life of Saskatchewan. 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.