Anatomy Lesson - Moose, 2006

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Thaddeus Holownia

Anatomy Lesson - Moose, 2006


Thaddeus Holownia's Anatomy Lesson - Moose is an installation of one hundred photographs of found bones, collected by the artist from a skeleton discovered while walking in Newfoundland. The stark white bones against deep black grounds are formally rigorous, appearing at once as abstract shapes and as taxonomy - a classification based on form. Much of Holownia's work has been based on the documentation of changing landscape or the prolonged study of place - here he examines the effects of time and the natural process of decomposition on a more intimate scale.


Thaddeus Holownia explores the intersections of nature and humanity. Specifically, he deals with how humanity changes landscape, how the forces of nature mould human structures, and how the two coexist. His work calls attention to various ecological and political issues that are of growing concern. Holownia's practice uses altered landscapes to convey the precarious relationship between man and nature. To expose these landscapes he returns to a place over years, even decades, and creates a photographic catalogue of the transformation.

As a young artist, Holownia was part of Toronto’s hip and burgeoning art scene. He left Toronto in 1977 for a two-year teaching job at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Professor Holownia became Head of the Photography Department and is now Head of the Fine Arts Department. Enchanted by his surroundings, Holownia remained there and has never returned to living in an urban environment. His move to the Maritimes served to heighten his awareness of deeper moral and spiritual issues that are now the foundations of his ecologically conscious work.