To the End of Time, 1986
acrylic, pastel, charcoal on blanket
190.5 x 227 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
The importance of the traditions and values of Northern Plains Aboriginal people has been consistently evident throughout Bob Boyer’s extensive career. Although the artist worked in a variety of media, Boyer received the greatest critical recognition for his series of blanket paintings. As seen in this impressive diptych, Boyer employed flannel blankets (a highly charged symbol of colonization due to the role they played in the spread of disease among Aboriginal people) as the painting surface. Boyer’s designs are created by the artist combining his own personal symbols with historical Northern Plains patterns as well as referencing the character of abstract art. The WAG painting, along with the entire series of “blanket statements,” is a powerful representation of the destructive impact that white colonization had upon Aboriginal people—their religions, lands, and cultures.