Friday, January 29, 2010

Jeff Thomas featured in the National Post Thursday January 21st, 2010

Leah Sandals interviews Jeff Thomas for the NATIONAL POST in her article "Back to the Land", published on Thursday, January 21st, 2010. Sandals finds out what's behind his current exhibition at Glenbow Museum on display until February 21st, 2010.

Leah Sandals and Jeff Thomas:
"Toys may be for children, but their portrayal in the photographs of Jeff Thomas is far from child's play. Currently, the Ottawa artist's acclaimed images of native-themed figurines are getting a viewing at Calgary's Glenbow Museum. Now, he talks to Leah Sandals about the ways tiny dolls can address huge histories.

Q Your images of First Nations figurines are memorable. Where do they come from?

A In 1992, I took a road trip across the U.S. The motto for that year was "Columbus: Discoverer of the New World," and I was interested in what the new world is, and for whom. I also wanted to photograph an Indian man in South Dakota who posed in tribal costume for tourists. But when I found the man, I didn't photograph him; I felt embarrassed about it.

When I returned to Ottawa, someone told me about the Champlain monument and the Indian scout that used to be at its base. From that point on, I started searching for Indian figures in the landscape; I wanted to play on the idea of the "vanishing Indian" that way.

One thing led to another, and in 1999, Ali Kazimi made a film about my work. Ali started the film by holding up a plastic cowboy and a plastic Indian. After the film premiered, he gave me the figures and said I'd probably find something interesting to do with them. So I went for a walk in Ottawa, and posed them in the landscape; that was the beginning of the series."

For the full interview, please follow the link:

Related Links:
The Glenbow Museum in Calgary:

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