Jeff Funnell: Notes from the Inquest
September 30, 2017 to February 4, 2018
Against the backdrop of Brett Graham’s response to settlement period injustices, Notes from the Inquest by Winnipeg artist Jeff Funnell points to the urgent problems of racial discrimination and social inequality faced by Indigenous people today. In April 1988, Funnell attended and documented the coroner’s inquest into the police shooting of J.J. Harper, a Wasagamack Cree leader shot by Winnipeg police constable Robert Cross. Funnell’s 90 courtroom drawings tell the story of the inquest through quickly executed sketches, personal notes and commentary. Presented unframed on a long table along with grainy video of the courtroom re-enactment of the shooting, Funnell’s account is marked by an authenticity missing in court and media reports and raises questions about the so-called objectivity of the inquiry’s findings. The installation has been shown across Canada since first appearing at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in 1991. Funnell recently donated the work in its entirety to the MacKenzie Art Gallery. This exhibition is presented as part of Transformative Landscapes: Contemplating Space, Time, and Connection.
About Jeff Funnell
Winnipeg artist Jeff Funnell works in a range of media including painting, drawing, collage, video and installation. He received a BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1967 and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati in 1970. In recent years his work has been featured by Matthew Higgs at White Columns Gallery in New York. Funnell continues to divide his time between Winnipeg and New York.