Atrium, Main Level

In 2022, the Canadian artists Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge were awarded the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. This year, Museum London acquired the artistic duo’s work for the first time. 

Based at different times in New York and Toronto, Condé and Beveridge have made unapologetically socially engaged and politically charged art since 1969. Over the last 45 years, they have collaborated with various trade union and community organizations in the production of their staged photographic work responding to issues of the day. 

Carole’s Garden was created in response to climate change and the growing number of wildfires around the globe. The artists confront the inability of industrialized nations to stop the destruction of the natural world. Carole Condé is shown watering the garden while a bull-headed businessman pours gasoline on the fire. The garden appears through a three-framed window, alluding to medieval altar pieces. A snake and a tree in the right window suggest that Eden/Paradise is burning. The table, quickly abandoned, is littered with empty dishes, an imported grapefruit the colour of the fire, a mask, headlines, and a dog.

Image: Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, Carole’s Garden, 2021, digital photograph. Purchase, John H. and Elizabeth Moore Acquisition Fund, 2022