East of the RoC

Friday, 16 January 2009 to Sunday, 12 July 2009

Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Confederation with Newfoundland and Labrador
(John and Norma Oyler Gallery)

To mark the diamond jubilee of Confederation in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Oyler Gallery will install East of the RoC, an exhibition of prints and drawings that highlights the intimate connection among the four Atlantic provinces. Our shared history of early settlement has meant that the architecture of government buildings was Georgian rather than Victorian or Beaux-arts as in the Rest of Canada. The construction of imposing new governors’ residences and legislative buildings or Province Houses attracted artists and reflected growth and stability in these British colonies during the early years of the 19th century. Most drew upon the 18th-century, classically-inspired, British Palladian tradition featuring a symmetrical plan, with flanking wings and a large central portico set upon a rusticated or arcaded base. Sadly, Fredericton’s Province Hall was lost to fire in 1880 but the others remain to inspire artists today. Devastating fires in our major cities provide another common bond, one that compelled the shocked attention of artists as history disappeared before their eyes. Above all else, however, the Ocean has imposed its rhythms, forced its demands, and provided the means for communication among and beyond the four Atlantic Provinces. Over the course of eighty-two years, Confederation brought together many diverse regions as one country, that now spans 90 degrees of longitude, and continues to be, as the Prime Minister noted in 1949, “an act of faith in the future”.