Canada’s Wilderness Aesthetic


| 3/11/2008 5:50:15 PM


Tags: arts, design, Canada, wilderness, aesthetic, lumberjack, chic,

A sinking polar bear, a melting Inuit, and a deer haloed with a Mercedes-Benz logo—each made of porcelain. Cynthia Hathaway’s “Souvenirs Revisited” collection gives classic Canadian icons a startling new treatment with political overtones.

Hathaway’s figurines are part of a movement in Canadian design toward what Tim McKeough calls “lumberjack chic,” a rather self-conscious take on wilderness and outdoor life. Writing in The Walrus (subscription required), McKeough highlights several designers who employ an “aesthetic [that] doesn’t so much reflect modern Canadian culture as it does other people’s expectations of what it means to be Canadian.”

Steve Thorngate