Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Billy's Vision The life of a mysterious drifter presented at The National Gallery of Canada

Ottawa, Canada - June 13, 2002


 « La vision de Billy - La vie d'un mystérieux vagabond »  

The mysterious drifter known only by the name of Billy was as startling for his physical appearance and style of dress as for his gifts as a visionary, artist and creator. Artist and organizer of the exhibition Billy's Vision, Andrew Hunter has recreated the historical environment of this original character, who was first recognized in the 1930's, near Saskatoon. Discover Billy's Vision at the National Gallery of Canada, from June 14 to September 2, 2002.

Andrew Hunter first learned about Billy from field notes made by his grandfather on research expeditions in the Canadian prairies and the American west. Not many people encountered the enigmatic drifter during his short stay in Saskatchewan. Those who did described him as "different", "not like us" and "not from hereabouts."

His very appearance seemed to confirm an otherworldly presence - "his skin, a pale, almost metallic, blue, long, thin arms and hands." His voice had its own strange quality "like two voices speaking at once, as if he had two sets of vocal cords, a high-pitched human voice superimposed on a Tyrolean yodel or the singing of a whale."

Nearly 100 works, including 30 on paper, four paintings, 17 laminated photographs and 45 random objects, offer visitors to Billy 's Vision a chance to travel in time and into the life and personality of this visionary who translated his visions into poems, paintings and objects.

Organized by artist Andrew Hunter, Billy's Vision was produced and sponsored on its tour by Saskatoon's Mendel Art Gallery. The Canada Council, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Saskatchewan Lotteries and the City of Saskatoon provided much appreciated financial support.

The exhibition catalogue, in English with accompanying CD, is available in the Gallery's bookstore[http://www.gallery.ca/french/default_85.htm].

Meet the artist
On Friday, June 14 at noon, artist and curator Andrew Hunter will speak about the exhibition.
In English with simultaneous interpretation.
Free admission. 


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