Canadian, b. 1958
The Pagan, 1996
acrylic, collage on wood
121 x 57.2 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program/Oeuvre achetée avec l'aide du programme d'aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du Canada and with funds from The Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation Inc.
The Pagan, a part of Lita Fontaine’s Spiritual People series, is an excellent example of the artist’s self-proclaimed technique of “montage.” Created using photography, photocopying, paint, and collage, Fontaine has produced a visual manifestation reflecting Aboriginal oral tradition, as well as the politics of colonization and sexism that are informed by her own experiences. According to the artist, figures such as The Pagan have helped explain her experience of the spiritual beliefs of her culture. Composed as a shape shifter, The Pagan reflects the artist’s attempt to expose, address, and recognize the Aboriginal imagery drawn from myths and legends passed down from her mother, as well as the negative stereotypes that exist throughout our contemporary society.