For a Social Cause

Peel Art Gallery Museum + Archives Presents
Stories of Strife, Loss & Triumph Through New Graphic Novel Exhibition

For a Social Cause brings together three graphic novels by diverse artists and thinkers spanning generations from across Canada and abroad. Opening June 8 at Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA), this exhibition explores how this genre raises awareness about the complex human condition through moving illustrations and fictional stories of strife, triumph and loss to convey moral lessons. Exhibition Reception on Sunday, June 16, 2 – 4 p.m.

Laurence Hyde (British/Canadian, 1914-1987), Southern Cross, 1951, wood engraving on paper, 1/2, 13.2 x 15.8 cm, Courtesy of the City of Burnaby Permanent Art Collection, BAG AN 1980.39.114.

In his 1951 wordless graphic novel, Southern Cross: A Novel of the South Seas, the late British-born, Canadian artist Laurence Hyde created 118 self-contained prints using the wood engraving technique. The dramatic black and white impressions effectively represent the tragic story of a young family trapped alone on a remote, South Pacific island during an atomic bomb testing, alluding to the unthinkable aftermath of such a horrific act.

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, RED: A Haida Manga (detail), 2008, watercolour, ink on paper, 168 cm x 381 cm, Private Collection of Michael and Inna O’Brian, ©Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.

British Columbia-based Indigenous artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas invents a new visual language in his 2008 large scale watercolour and ink masterpiece RED: A Haida Manga, turned graphic novel in 2009. He accomplishes this by mixing Pacific Northwest Coast Haida imagery and a traditional oral story with Manga, popular Japanese-style comics. RED is an epic tale about an obsessive warrior-leader scared by the kidnapping of his sister Jaada and driven by vengeance. Unable to forgive or forget, he goes on a violent quest in hopes of reuniting with a lost loved one and punishing the offender. His actions exact a heavy price on himself and others.

Ricky Lima (Canadian, 1988-) and Nicolas Londeix (French, 1988-), Happily Ever Aftr (detail), 2018, Courtesy of Ricky Lima and Nicolas Londeix.

Brampton’s own graphic novel writer Ricky Lima and French graphic artist Nicolas Londeix bring a modern twist to a conventional narrative of romantic conquest in Happily Ever Aftr. Two heroines must navigate the troubled waters of family pressure, kidnapping and even boredom in their journey to self-realization and self-fulfilment. Combining digital art with humorous puns, this scripted comic book brings to the forefront issues of women’s empowerment, sexual identity and social expectations.

“All three works are cleverly executed relying on the power of images—one strategically and successively linked to the next—to communicate serious social messages, and act as a warning to the repercussions of adverse human actions. Southern Cross and RED come to grievous conclusions while Happily Ever Aftr offers hope if change is embraced. In the end, the course of humanity and its future is one of our own making. We alone can decide our fate based on the choices we make. “– PAMA Curator, Sharona Adamowicz-Clements

Key Programming

PAMA is a place to explore and learn about Peel Region’s culture and heritage, as well as use conversation, questions and stories to help make new and fascinating connections to the surrounding community. Throughout the year, PAMA offers a variety of workshops and programs for all ages, families and adults. With so many different programs to choose from, PAMA has something for everyone. Operated by the Region of Peel, PAMA is located at 9 Wellington Street, East in Brampton. Visit or call 905-791-4055 to learn more.