Life, Still: The Unbuttoning of Christiane Pflug
An Alisa Siegel documentary
Christiane Pflug's last drawing is of a white bird with large, dark eyes, the rooftops of a city skyline behind it. In the upper right-hand corner, a tiny plane flies away into the distance.
Not long after she completed that drawing, Christiane Pflug went to Hanlan's Point, one of her favourite spots on the Toronto Islands. On summer days she liked to sketch there, often with her two daughters, Esther and Ursula.
But on April 4, 1972, she went alone. And there she died, of an overdose of the sedative Secanol. She was just shy of 36 years old.
In Toronto, Christiane soon achieved considerable success. By the early 1960s, she was represented by the prestigious Avrom Isaacs Gallery. Joyce Wieland showed there. So did Michael Snow. And William Kurelek. Christiane's works flew off the walls.
On May 8, a paper about her art will be delivered at a conference entitled "The Artist Herself," at Queen's University in Kingston. And the Art Gallery of Ontario, which owns many of her works, plans to mount a retrospective.
Special thanks to Dr. Amy Marshall Furness, Rosamond Ivey Special Collections Archivist, Art Gallery of Ontario.
After Alisa's documentary aired, we received this note from Scott MacMillan, a composer from Halifax. Scott writes: "A few years ago I was involved with CBC Ottawa's 'Gallery Project' with Julie Nesrallah. The artist I was given to compose my piece of music to was Christiane Phlug. Here's my composition, "A Plug for Phlug". I thought you might be interested."