March 3 – May 18, 2020
Awakening presents works from Canadian and Indigenous artists held in the Canada Council Art Bank collection that shine a spotlight on our relationship with the environment. These works depict collisions between city and ecology, nature and nurture, consumption and conservation, ideals and actions. Together, they evoke a mixture of hope, despair and soul-searching, encouraging viewers to consider the urgency of sustaining life on Earth for future generations.
Artists featured in this exhibition are Germaine Arnaktauyok, Iain Baxter&, Fernand Bergeron, Eleanor Bond, Edward Burtynsky, Sid Butt, Ken Danby, Randall Finnerty, Antonia Hirsch, Marilyn (Molly) Magid, Jimmy Manning, David Morris, Norval Morrisseau, Kim Ondaatje, Bruce Paton, David Rasmus, Michael Snow, Takao Tanabe, Joanne Tod, Chih-Chien Wang and Shirley Wiitasalo.
In the spring of 2017, the Art Bank partnered with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario on an exhibition tied to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Entitled Awakening, the exhibition featuring 21 artworks from the Canada Council Art Bank collection was curated by Bruce Mau.
An international tour of Awakening brought these thought-provoking pieces to places where significant debates about the health and sustainability of the planet were taking place, providing new perspectives and keeping these issues top of mind. In 2019, the exhibition travelled to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, to the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, and to the World Conference Centre in Bonn for the United Nations Global Climate Conference.
Awakening exemplifies the Canada Council’s commitment to connecting people, ideas and issues through the power of the arts with a view to provoking discussion and inciting reactions. It celebrates the work of Canadian and Indigenous artists, contributes to the global conversation about the environment and highlights how relevant issues can be made tangible and publicly engaging through the visual arts.