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The Clearances and Skirmish at Bloody PointEnlarge image

The Clearances and Skirmish at Bloody Point, 2007

Shary Boyle
Canadian, 1972
acrylic and gouache on paper, gold foil on card, collage, acetate, thread, and 3 projectors
installation dimensions variable
Purchased 2010
National Gallery of Canada (no. 43034)
Photo © NGC

"The Clearances" and "Skirmish at Bloody Point" are fantastical alternative retellings of the cycles of colonization and cultural evictions that took place in Europe and North America from the perspective of imagined storytellers. Combining aspects of her performances with her more conventional drawing practice, Boyle explores themes of exploitation, loss, and displacement, re-presenting the violent acts of the Scottish Clearances and the British search for the Northwest Passage in an otherworldly, Technicolor light. By blending historical narratives with her phantasmic and emotional responses, Boyle creates a work that has a psychic impact. Delving into our dark past, the artist invests these events with a new life and makes us aware of how they are related to current injustices.

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