Taking out the trash

Taking out the trash Open letter to John Duncan, member of Parliament from Vancouver Island North: I apologize for not writing sooner. I have been very busy getting ready to open my art show, What is Trash?. And you only started sending Tory Trash to hou

Open letter to John Duncan, member of Parliament from Vancouver Island North:

I apologize for not writing sooner. I have been very busy getting ready to open my art show, What is Trash?. And you only started sending Tory Trash to households in the Yukon recently.

Have you talked to Chris Warkentin, Chuck Strahl or Peter MacKay recently? If you have, you might know that I am the artist in Whitehorse using taxpayer-funded, ten-percenter Conservative party propaganda and attack ads in various art projects.

My first experience with Tory Trash was when we moved to Whitehorse the summer of 2008. The Yukon has been bombarded with these flyers. Many people have found them dumbed down and repulsive, particularly the personal attacks.

When we realized that our taxes paid for this unsolicited waste paper, irritation grew into outrage. The ten-percenters are a destructive waste of money, trees and energy. All recyclables have to be trucked out of the territory, an added waste. It is literally and figuratively burdensome garbage.

So, in September of 2009, I started to collect Tory Trash. A local bookstore kindly allowed me to place a Tory Trash can in their foyer. Whitehorse citizens responded to my request for their Conservative party propaganda, not only dropping it off at the bookstore, but bringing it to me in person at social gatherings and business meetings. Some people drove to my home just to make sure I got their contributions. I’ve even received Tory Trash from friends in Winnipeg. I collected approximately 700 pieces of Tory Trash from Yukoners by early January of 2010.

As you may know, anger is a very negative emotion. It erodes one’s pleasure in life and detracts from one’s work. Since I started collecting Tory Trash and making drawings, I’ve found a sense of peace coupled with a sense of purpose.

Even though What is Trash? has opened, I’ve told Yukoners to continue to save Tory Trash for me. The work is ongoing. It will continue until you and your colleagues stop sending garbage to beautiful Yukon.

Even though you only started sending us Tory Trash in mid January, I was able to use some of your Tory Trash in the show. You will be happy to know that your name appears several times on the piece called, Stephen’s Fire Wall Ð Do Not Play With Matches. You might wish to view it in person. With Parliament prorogued, you should have time to visit.

So, John, I want to invite you to view What is Trash? at Cadence Cycle Gallery. The gallery is at 508 Wood Street, Whitehorse. The hours are Thursday and Friday, 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The show runs until February 13th.

Linda Leon

Whitehorse