In March I had the opportunity to visit the Alex Janvier exhibit at the National Art Gallery of Canada.
“My art is truly North American… it has its Indigenous roots. Some of my artwork is healing for myself and for anyone who wants to accept it that way.” ~ Alex Janvier
It was a breathtaking and inspirational experience. Janvier is perhaps best known for his circular watercolours, and they were certainly delightful to see in person. However, I was most moved by his more political work documenting his experience in the Indian Residential School system in Canada, as well as his more recent critiques of environmental degradation and struggles over Indigenous sovereignty.
I was also taken aback by a series of paintings done with oil on linen (pictured here). My favourite was his work called “Fly, Fly, Fly” painted in 1981, which seemed to depict a magical creature “hovering on the surface of the canvas”.