Brian Jungen, left to right, 1980, 1970, 1960 (2007). Polyester, metal, painted wood on paper sonotube, 396 x 122 x 91 cm each. Courtesy of the artist. Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Purchased with the assistance of The David Yuile and Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, 2007; Promised Gift of Rosamond Ivey; Gift of Michael and Sonja Koerner, 2018, Toronto. © Brian Jungen. Photo: Sean Weaver/Art Gallery of Ontario.
By Christine Endrulat, Assistant Manager, Visitor Welcome
Recently I received an email from one of our Visitor Welcome team members who is currently isolating with his family in Vancouver. He sent some photos of a park with totem poles that he frequents. The photos reminded me of the totem poles in our Indigenous Collection and the golf bag totem poles that were part of the exhibition Brian Jungen Friendship Centre. Those were definitely a conversation piece!
This had me reflecting on the AGO’s amazing Indigenous Collection. It is very diverse in that it includes pieces from the First Nations, Inuit and Metis as well as global Indigenous art from Africa, Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. We have also been fortunate to have several exhibitions in the past few years focusing on Indigenous artists:
- Brian Jungen Friendship Centre
- Tunirrusiangit: Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak
- Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental
One of my favourites was Connecting with Our First Family. The images on the walls in the Community Gallery of the Weston Family Learning Centre were large, intricate and majestic. Standing in the space was powerful yet humbling. And I still have some of the colouring papers of the images that were available!
Thinking about these collections is making me miss the AGO! I am realizing that I have been taking the opportunity to view the artwork for granted. I have started to put together a list of what I want to see when we reopen – and topping the list is the African Collection – something I haven’t visited in a very long time. What are you looking forward to seeing again?