Waiting For The Thaw

Agnes Jamieson Gallery
Minden Hills Cultural Centre
Minden, Ontario

Waiting for the Thaw
May 20 to July 5, 2014
Opening reception May 24 at 1pm
Artist: Peter Graham

Graham: I have a long-standing interest in the natural and human history of Canada, and the “idea” of The North and our place in it as Canadians. Through my work I enjoy exploring, often with humour, some of the myths/truths of Canada. The work in this show had its origins in the winter of 2010-2011 with my etching Waiting For The Thaw, which was intended to commemorate the Year of the Rabbit.  When the Winnipeg region received some early substantial snowfalls, I began to consider their impact on the upcoming flood season. This lead to an increasing sense of anxiety on my part, and I came to question the wisdom of living on a floodplain. Why would humans put themselves in harms way? Was it ignorance, blind faith in technology, or just a series of historical coincidences that kept us tied to this city sitting at the confluence of two flood prone rivers?

I then began to consider the native wildlife of this region, and to recognize that they would have existed for thousands of generations here, seemingly in harmony with the natural cycles of the Red and the Assiniboine.  What possible lessons could we learn from them?

‘The Flood’ series celebrated the common sense, perseverance, teamwork and patience of the animal world. These are attributes that we; the self proclaimed, most highly evolved race admire; yet we continue to falter in their achievement.  

Three years later we, along with most of Canada, have just emerged (well not quite at time of writing) from a particularly long, cold and snowy winter. Once again I have allowed the animals to return to our city streets to share with us in our northern experience.

Peter Graham lives in Winnipeg. He has a B.F.A. Honours, Printmaking, University of Manitoba.