This installation approaches one of the many questions we ask ourselves about celebrating a divisive political figure such as Sir John A. Macdonald. An oft-heard excuse for those in our past who have suppressed, exploited, or harmed a culture, a people, a land, a country is “They/She/He were just a product of their era” which suggests inculpability. She asks the participants in this conversation to consider that our first Prime Minister was not the only voice of his era, that in fact there were many other voices expressing dissent and opposition to his actions and initiatives. Surely, in our age we do not accept injustices to our Indigenous neighbours and cultural ancestors, so, should we continue to celebrate it in public squares today? Mustn’t we learn our whole history, teach our entire history- not just the story of the conquerors – so that these injustices will never be repeated?
Susanne Larner is a public installation, community event and multifarious artist working in Prince Edward County and North Grenville. Her contributions to the Department of Illumination’s local events such as The Firelight Lantern Festival and Ice Box, focus on community interaction and involvement. She creates installations that are immersive stories of our past, present and future; scenes with painterly brushstrokes that are at once cozy & welcoming as well as whimsical & off-centre.
LinkedIn: Susanne Larner.