ZOOMER Magazine

CANADIAN CONTEMPORA­RY

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THEY CALL Canada the Great White North for our snowy landscapes, but who’s to say the moniker doesn’t represent a blank canvas upon which artists might produce their next masterpiec­e? This summer, two art exhibits highlight both homegrown Canuck creativity and the allure of our nation as a hub of artistic inspiratio­n.

B.C. author and multimedia artist Douglas Coupland has interprete­d Canadiana-as-art for years, but the 56-year-old takes the premise a step further with The National Portrait. Created in partnershi­p with Quebec retailer Simons, the exhibit is the result of a twoyear trek during which Coupland’s team scanned the heads of 1,700 Canadian sand printed them as three-dimensiona­l busts. “For the first time in history,” he said, “we can be carefree with human busts in the same way photograph­y allowed us to be carefree with flat portraitur­e.” The show features 1,000 of the busts in various sizes with some using anamorphos­is, which distorts the bust so that the viewer’s perception changes when they view it from different angles. (The National Portrait, Ottawa Art Gallery, June 29-Aug. 19. oag gao.ca)

Meanwhile, the Lieutenant-Governor’s Suite at Queen’s Park in Toronto hosts a collection of Canadian artwork and photograph­y that serves as a call to action for environmen­talism and UN sustainabi­lity goals in Canada. Awakening, an ongoing exhibit curated by renowned Canadian architect and designer Bruce Mau on behalf of the provincial lieutenant-governor, Elizabeth Dowdeswell (who has a long history as an environmen­tal champion), evokes ideas of how we interact with, and shape, our nation’s landscapes and how we can preserve them. And while Her Honour hopes the exhibit inspires all visitors, the 73-year-old suggests the boomer generation can play a crucial role in the sustainabi­lity cause.

“If you could harness the wisdom, the intelligen­ce, the lived experience that that generation has,” she told Zoomer, “it would be wonderful.” (Awakening, arts.lg ontario.ca/awakening-eveil) — MC

 ??  ?? 1 A Banksy smiley face soldier with wings 2 Printing a 3-D bust ahead of Douglas Coupland’s The National Portrait
3 Eleanor Bond’s IV Converting the Powell River Mill to a Recreation and Retirement Centre, part of Awakening 1 2 3
1 A Banksy smiley face soldier with wings 2 Printing a 3-D bust ahead of Douglas Coupland’s The National Portrait 3 Eleanor Bond’s IV Converting the Powell River Mill to a Recreation and Retirement Centre, part of Awakening 1 2 3

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