Grant McConnell - Errant Dogs, Cannington Manor

My take on history is…I’m very interested, not so much a heavy responsibility, but in terms of broadening the pictures, is if it’s not subverting it’s contributing to a broader area of knowledge, which I think is what history is.  It’s not the narrow, if you want to call it, staged version of grand characters and political and judicial robes, but it really is the people who make this stuff of history.  And that means in something like Errant Dogs, Cannington Manor investigating a community that in a sense fell off the map, quite literally almost fell off the map in terms of historical continuity.  But for what it had to offer…it was really one of these early utopian communities in the country.  The hopes and dreams and how they were to some degree fulfilled, more likely not, is very telling, and the history in Saskatchewan of utopian communities is a very interesting one.
In the painting itself, just going back to Captain Pierce, and as he described these remittance boys in education, these pups as he called them, and then in this painting…they had fox hunts, and they played tennis and polo and all kinds of things out there to, in a sense, reinstill the essence of English Imperial culture in western Canada which I think is quite fascinating given the circumstances they found themselves in southern Saskatchewan.  And to find a way in that work with the monumental lion which is a fictional element, and then these hunting dogs is for me very interesting.  And surrounding that idea of utopianism and hopes and dreams and this scattering of dogs all over the place chasing birds and not foxes…

Duration: 2:16 min
Size: 9709kb

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