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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Closed for installation
until June 7, 2024

Admission always free
13 Aug 18until24 Sep 18

Myfanwy MacLeod


Offsite at various locations throughout the City of Vancouver

A watercolour print of the head of an ocellated turkey on a plain oof-white coloured paper. Below the image is text reading “OCELLATED TURKEY (Meleagris ocellata).”

Myfanwy MacLeod, Neighbours (detail), 2018. Courtesy the artist.

This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Although one of the most successful conservation laws in North American history, it is now currently under threat by American Congress. Coinciding with this anniversary is the re-installation of Macleod’s seminal public work The Birds at Southeast False Creek Olympic Plaza. CAG has developed an associated work with MacLeod that is timely within this context.

Neighbours is a series of twenty posters displayed at various transit shelters throughout the city of Vancouver and will occur alongside the International Ornithological Congress which takes place in the city from August 19 to 26, 2018. Incorporating drawn images of birds of different species gathered together into one flock as notional surrogates for the varied population of peoples that make up the city, this assemblage of birds will be made up of a diverse, polyglot group. Not unlike the “impossible bouquet” — a concept that emerged in Dutch still life painting in the seventeenth century, which was an artificial fantasy of flowers that could never bloom naturally in the same season and geographic region— the birds depicted at once mirror the cultural identities of the inhabitants of this city of Vancouver from different parts of the world while speaking to the democratic nature of the public transit system which brings together people from all walks of life.

Curated by Nigel Prince

This project is produced by the Contemporary Art Gallery in partnership with the City of Vancouver Public Art Program.


Myfanwy MacLeod (b. 1961, London, Canada) is best known for her irreverent artworks that draw upon conceptual and minimalist themes, often exploring the overlapping and intersecting of pop culture, art history and folk traditions. Articulated through themes of fantasy, humour and allusions to forbidden desires, MacLeod draws parallels between how art and mass media are created, circulated and consumed. Her works, which range from photography and painting to large-scale installations and sculpture, examine how perceptions of “high” and “low” culture are interpreted through themes of gender, privilege and value. MacLeod was a recipient of the VIVA Award (1999) presented by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts, Vancouver. She has had solo exhibitions at Or Gallery, Vancouver (2015); Vancouver Art Gallery (2014); Museum London, Ontario (2013); Presentation House: Gallery, North Vancouver (2012); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2006). Selected group exhibitions include Polygon Gallery, North Vancouver (2017); Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (2013); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2012); MASS MoCA, North Adams (2012); Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto (2008); Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston (2006); Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Germany (2004); The Power Plant, Toronto (2002); Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2002); Gasworks, London (2002); Canadian Pavilion, Melbourne International Biennial (1999); Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver (1998). She is represented by Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver.