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Curated by Wendy Peart, Curator of Education & Community Outreach
John Peet’s installation is the result of finding a box of old family photographs, including images of his grandfather’s time at the Mount Cashel Orphanage in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the early 1900’s. This institution was operated by the Irish Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic lay order from 1898 -1990, and has been notably reported as a place where countless youth suffered abuses by those who were entrusted with their care and education. Through this work, Peet develops a posthumous relationship with his grandfather that is deepened by exposing the complex powerful systems that have enabled such tragic conditions. Through his work, he also uncovers the vital interconnectedness of the boys at the school who developed life-affirming friendships and familial bonds.
John Peet was born in St. John’s NL and raised in Montreal, QC. After moving to Regina, SK, in 1977 he began working in ceramics, exhibiting and marketing his work. He received his BFA from the University of Regina in 1994 and worked at the MacKenzie Art Gallery.
John Peet, Mount Cashel (detail), 2018, mixed media. Photo courtesy of the artist.