FIRST LIGHT

MAUREEN ENNS

FIRST LIGHT

Born in Chilliwack, BC in 1949, Maureen Enns obtained a Bachelor of Education in 1969 (University of British Columbia) and Masters in Art in 1971 (University of Calgary). It was while as an art instructor at the Alberta College of Art and Design, the artist began to incorporate the animal subject into her painting. At the same time Enns explored such post-1970s formal issues related to realism versus abstraction, perspective versus flatness, collage and decorative patterning. Beginning with the horse in the late 1970s, and followed by research trips in Australia and Africa to investigate the camel and the elephant, respectively, Enns eventually turned her attention to the grizzly. In all cases, the use of such subject matter within the midst of such post-1970s painting concerns was unorthodox and striking - especially in regard to the study of contemporary Canadian art of that period when animal representation had little-to-no critical or curatorial recognition. In this respect, Tribute to Banff National Park and other works from the Grizzly Kingdom an Wild Horse series is unique addition to the study of Canadian and/or regional art of the late 20th century. Enns, however, is not a ?wildlife artist? as that term is popularly understood today. Aesthetically, her art is shaped by the aforementioned painting concerns and a conceptual awareness about the environment.