MOUNTIES

When I was a kid I wanted to be a Mountie when I grew up. Later, as an artist and educator I became fascinated by the myth and symbolism of this uniquely Canadian icon. What started in the early 1970s as a handful of postcards in a candy tin (with an image of a Mountie on it) evolved over the years into a collection and a major imagery source for my art practice.

Through my collection, drawings and paintings of mythic Mounties in idealized and abstracted landscapes have been generated. I explore that ambiguous space between realism and stereotype, kitsch and archetype, hero worship and political statement. This somewhat paradoxical and humorous play with Canadian myths involves the iconic, larger than life Mountie and his relationship with the landscape and sometimes, his dog. Recently the stature of the force in contemporary Canadian culture has been shaken and the glory days seem to be fading. However, icons are not easily shattered and my fascination remains, especially as the reality and the mythology continue to evolve.