Bob Boyer

A Minor Sport in Canada

1985
Category: 
"A Minor Sport in Canada" is a critique of colonial history in Canada. Boyer's version of a Union Jack flag overlays splattered paint that suggests spilled blood. The colours in the flag have been alternated to highlight a four-directional motif while geometric patterns along the outside edges of the flag are characteristic of the beadwork and paint designs of Aboriginal peoples of the northern Plains. The overall result is a fusion of symbols representing Aboriginal peoples and newcomers. Of Métis descent, Boyer was distinctly aware of historical issues arising from the coming together of peoples during the settlement era and the competition for resources that soon followed. Referred to as "blanket statements," Boyer's blanket paintings recall the practice of using blankets to spread disease during the fur-trade era. The ironic title for this work pointedly trivializes the negative impacts of colonial rule for Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Artist
Title
A Minor Sport in Canada
Date
1985
Medium
Painting
Materials
acrylic and oil on cotton blanket
Dimensions
188 x 221 cm; overall with attachments: 208 x 240 cm
Nationality
Canadian
Credit line
Purchased 1987
Rights
©Bob Boyer
Accession number
29757