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Vera Saltzman: O Human Child

Sun, Mar 1, 2020 to Tue, Mar 17, 2020 @ Grand Coteau Heritage and Cultural Centre

Community: Shaunavon Arts Council

Education Packages: OHumanChildEdGuide.pdf
Vera Saltzman, Lilly, photograph, 15" x 15", 2017.

Curated by Donald Stein. Toured though OSAC’s Arts on the Move program. O Human Child features 18 black and white portraits of Saskatchewan children photographed in their own environments: in small towns and rural communities, on ranches, First Nations Territory, and farms.

The title of O Human Child is a line borrowed from the W.B. Yeats poem The Stolen Child, which is about the fairy tales we tell children to protect and shelter them from the tragedies of the world.

The impetus for this series of photographs came from a desire to better understand the place where I currently find myself, rural Saskatchewan. I turned to the writings of W.O. Mitchell in hopes that his words would help me gain a sense of the Saskatchewan identity.

In Who Has Seen the Wind Mitchell depicts life as a child in rural Saskatchewan in the 1930s. Through stories of everyday events of a young boy trying to make sense of life, death, and God, he addresses universal themes in his iconic Canadian prairie voice.

My goal in creating O Human Child is to take a contemporary look at children growing up in rural Saskatchewan and consider how the tensions and complexities of childhood today both contrast and mirror those of Mitchell’s time.


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