Our Collection

The View from Here - A Canadian Picture Show in Nine Acts

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The View from Here introduces viewers to the richness and diversity of the National Gallery's Canadian collection. Designed for schools and museums as well as for the general public, the video is organized thematically, and features works by Canadian artists from the eighteenth century to the present. Leading viewers through the galleries, the video focusses playfully and imaginatively on a variety of paintings, scuplture, prints, drawings, and photographs.

A short introduction on the founding of the Gallery is followed by an exploration of nine themes animated by quotes from well-known Canadian artists, which impart a personal flavour to the "acts" of this visual survey. Early Days examines religious and secular works that reveal the impact of a colonial, European culture on eastern Canada up to Confederation. Looking at Ourselves is a kaleidoscope of faces and figures from all parts of the country over the last century and a half. From Sea to Sea captures the wonders of our vast landscape, from Newfoundland to British Columbia, from the forty-ninth parallel to the Arctic Ocean. Diversions surveys such pastimes as parties, music-making, card playing, tobogganing, and string games. Confrontations deals with conflict, war, civil strife, and protest, and Away from Home briefly looks at works done by Canadian artists abroad. Workers celebrates the labour of Canadian men and women--on the land, on the sea, and in the factories and mines. Town and Country explores our built environments, from a solitary farmhouse to the port of Montreal. The video concludes with Visions and Mysteries, a journey through abstraction, the realm of the spirit, and the allegories of magic and myth.

1996, 27 min 50 s