The Image of Conrad Moffat Black, Baron of Crossharbour – A Wordless Narrative
September 13, 2013 – October 13, 2013
Of all the people who represented the establishment in Canada, Conrad Black is one of the most outspoken and charismatic characters representing the elusive 1% of society. He is a public person of international stature who at one time was a media baron of great power and wealth. George Walker’s wordless narrative is about his rise and fall and the parade of the images that surround his story. It is a story of wealth and power and how it appears in the media and the larger cultural theatre. It is a story of how power and authority are seen and represented and how we read the images of a life and interpret a story from what we see. Some of the images are referenced from media resources and others are invented. Each image is hand engraved on the endgrain of Canadian maple wood. The story is wordless in the traditional sense, but the engraved image is the text, the story exists like a silent picture with the reader interpreting the narrative. The visual story is an anomalous form of reading with its own unique grammar. The irony, of course, being that Conrad Black is one of the most verbose and literate men in the public sphere.
George A. Walker holds an MA in Communication and Culture from Ryerson and York University. He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) in 2002 in recognition of his achievements in Canadian Book Arts. He is an Associate Professor at the OCAD University where he teaches book related arts in the Printmaking program. He is the graphic novel acquisitions editor for the Porcupine’s Quill and has six titles in print with them. Since 2000 he has worked as designer and artist for Firefly Books Ltd. He has over 25 years of experience in publishing both with large commercial publishers and private presses. He is the author of the popular how-to book, The Woodcut Artists’ Handbook (Firefly 2005) now in its second revised edition (Firefly 2010), and he is recognized for his art history book on wordless novels, Graphic Witness (Firefly 2007), which has sold over 16,000 copies. Since 1984 his letterpress printed artists’ books have been collected internationally by institutions such as the University of Toronto, Morgan Library and Museum (NY), Columbia University, (NY), Princeton University (NJ), and the Victoria and Albert museum (London, UK).