War artist destroys works as protest against Tories
Allan Harding MacKay's works based on images taken in Afghanistan and Somalia
A renowned Canadian war artist is destroying five pieces of his own artwork — including one he shredded live on CBC’s Power & Politics — to protest the federal government's treatment of veterans and aboriginals, as well as for what he calls an "abuse" of parliamentary power.
"And so there are four to go," an emotional Allan Harding MacKay told host Evan Solomon after ripping up a piece depicting a scene from Kandahar Air Field.
MacKay plans to destroy four more pieces on Parliament Hill on Thursday and says he hopes his act will help more people "wake up" to how the government is doing business.
"This is a citizen’s action," he said. "I have art that has a power beyond my voice. So I am utilizing works that within my possession — assets that are within my possession — to shine a spotlight on things I completely disagree with in terms of this particular Harper government."
Conceding he is destroying a piece of history, MacKay said it's a necessary act to draw public attention to the erosion of democracy.
A spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Jay Paxton, had suggested he donate the works. But the artist insists that "sacrificing" the pieces will bring more attention to his cause.
The mixed media pieces are based on images taken in Afghanistan and Somalia.
MacKay's work has been displayed at the National Art Gallery of Canada, the Canadian War Museum and a number of other galleries in Canada and abroad. He now maintains a studio on Toronto Island.