Telling Stories: Narratives of Nationhood

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What does an art gallery have to do with Confederation?

Making the art your own: Viewing and Creating Art


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Making the art your own: Viewing and Creating Art

The Telling Stories project uses the Confederation Centre Art Gallery collection and works of art from gallery collections across Canada to explore the symbols and icons that are used in the art to tell stories about the geographical, historical, and cultural make-up of Canada. As such, this website explores the role of art in Canadian myth-making. Sometimes, the art discussed may be used to build myths of national identity; sometimes, it may be used to play with or criticize these myths.

Looking at the artistic voices represented, it becomes clear that there is no single, complete story or history in Canada. The cultures, histories, and relationships among Canadian communities have always been changing. The art works that come out of this ever-changing reality are all pieces of the truth, telling stories about the possibilities for many different identities.

You will be asked to use critical thinking in looking at art in this project. Looking at art is like a discussion. You cannot just view art and take it in. You have to become an active participant in the looking. The art comes alive when you bring your own experiences and feelings to it - when you think about it and respond to it. Your experiences and thoughts help you understand what you are seeing.