Munro Ferguson, still from June, 2003

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Munro Ferguson, still from June, 2003

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Petite salle

From September 18 to October 23, 2021

Exhibition Essay: June by Johanne Sloan

In collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada

Interdisciplinary artist and feminist director Joyce Wieland is not only a major figure of Canadian contemporary art, she was also a major figure in the life of artist Munro Ferguson, as a friend, teacher, and mentor. Her passing in 1998, after living with Alzheimer’s disease for several years, profoundly saddened Ferguson, who went on to create June to celebrate his friend’s art and memory. June, an abstract stereoscopic animation of curved lines and circles recalling Wieland’s style, was produced in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada. Cathartic, immersive and hand-drawn, the six-minute video in presented in a loop in OBORO’s small gallery.

Ferguson, who has been working as an animator at the National Film Board of Canada since 1994, also studied painting, drawing and philosophy. June, with its rich colours, textures, compositions and emotions, attests to this background. The first part of the video, called "Alzheimer", draws from the period at the end of Joyce Wieland’s life, while the second part, "Memory", is an elegy inspired by her creative power. The piece, which was originally created in 2003, also serves as an homage to the artist’s mother, Betty Ferguson, a filmmaker and a close friend of Wieland’s, who also has Alzeihmer’s disease. Both Joyce and Betty’s middle names are June. 

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Munro Ferguson

Born in New York City in 1960, Munro Ferguson studied painting and drawing at Banff and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. In 1984 Munro created Eureka!, a comic strip about science which was syndicated in over 30 newspapers internationally. In 1994, he joined the National Film Board English Program’s Animation Studio, where he wrote, directed and animated numerous films including Falling in Love Again, winner of the 2004 Genie Award for Best Animated Short.