The Uncanny Outdoors

Curated by Emily McKibbon

The Uncanny Outdoors presents contemporary Canadian artworks from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection that render the natural world strange. The uncanny nature of each work emphasizes the ways in which our understanding of the landscape is conditioned by how we enjoy, settle and extract value from it.

The Uncanny Outdoors presents contemporary Canadian artworks from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection that render the natural world strange. The uncanny nature of each work emphasizes the ways in which our understanding of the landscape is conditioned by how we enjoy, settle and extract value from it.

The landscape tradition in Canadian art has helped create a national self-image of Canadians as strong, resourceful stewards of the land.  However, our relationship to this land is complicated, tied to colonial expansion and the exploitation of natural resources.  The artists in this exhibition portray a landscape that is both familiar and unsettling: repressed ideas about the natural world come to light, revealing uncomfortable truths about our tenuous relationship to the land that sustains us.

The artists represented in this exhibition include Lois Andison, IAIN BAXTER&, Blue Republic, Ed Burtynsky, Jane Buyers, Robert Hengeveld, Laura Millard, Takao Tanabe, Tony Urquhart and Tim Zuck.

Images: Installation views of The Uncanny Outdoors, MacLaren Art Centre, 2020. Photo: Tyler Durbano

LEARN

Family Activities

Due to the social distancing measures introduced to combat COVID-19, the MacLaren has created self-guided activities that families can do together at home. Through a variety of exciting games and challenges, this activity sheet is designed to help children and their caregivers have fun while learning about the content and ideas present in the exhibition. Families can also enjoy Palimpsest Postcards, a Family Sunday Online workshop inspired by the artwork Recollection II by Laura Millard included in this exhibition.

Please download the PDFs below to get started!

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