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Safety Gear for Small Animals
April 22 to June 6, 2004

Curated by Annette Hurtig, Doryphore Curatorial Collective

Co-produced by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Evergreen Cultural Centre, Kamloops Art Gallery, Kenderdine Art Gallery, Liane and Danny Taran Gallery of the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery.

Thursday, April 22 from 6:30 to 8 pm
Preceded by a tour of the exhibition with the artist and the curator at 6 pm

Bill Burns, How to Help Animals Escape from Natural History (extrait | excerpt), 1995
Bill Burns, Safety Gear for Small Animals Collection (extrait | excerpt), 1994
The Safety Gear for Small Animals exhibition offers a survey of a decade of work by former Montreal resident Bill Burns. Dedicated by Burns to the Masked Puddle Frog, the exhibition features photos, drawings, prints and paintings, as well as displays of animal prosthetics and other sorts of safety and rescue gear from the Safety Gear for Small Animals collection. In the introductory text, Bill Burns explains that Safety Gear for Small Animals "is the largest safety gear for small animals producer in the world. It is comprised of several divisions including, for instance: safety gear prototype production, conservation and relocation, a multi-media programme, a prosthetics programme, a modest publishing house and an itinerant museum." The exhibition includes the well known How to Help Animals Escape from Natural History and How to Help Animals Escape from Degraded Habitats projects. Explanatory texts in the museum-style wall panels that accompany the displayed objects guide viewers through the exhibition. While honouring museum display conventions, the exhibition aims to provoke discussion. It is designed to appeal to children, excite ecology-conscious youth, and speak to anyone anywhere who is interested in the safety of small animals.

The Gallery gratefully acknowledges ongoing support form the ministère de la Culture et des Communications, The Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Top image: Bill Burns, Artist As a Young Boy Taken by his Mother Emma Lecours Burns, c. 1963