A new exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta invites visitors to learn about a trickster rabbit and explore their own story making creativity.
The World of Boo opened on July 27 and runs until April 2015. The exhibit is based on the Who is Boo? book series written by Bridget Ryan and illustrated by Jason Carter. Visitors can step inside a storybook and explore Boo’s world through hands-on activities and improvisational play.
And who is Boo? Boo, is a trickster rabbit that races his brother Peek around the world. Their race really never ends because the two have forgotten where the finish line is. During the races Boo meets lots of interesting friends and helps solve their problems in tricky ways.
Boo’s story is an exploration of the positive elements of curiosity and wonder.
The idea of the trickster rabbit is found in Aboriginal storytelling. In fact, the inspiration for Boo came from Jason’s first exhibit, Who is Nanabozho? Nanabozho is a character in the Ojibwa culture that is used to tell morality tales to children. Trickster characters are familiar to many Aboriginal Peoples including the Mi’kmaq, and the Cree.
A member of the Little Red River Cree Nation in Northeastern Alberta, Jason used his research into the trickster rabbit to reconnect to his own culture. He also discovered a lot of the stories were quite dark and eerie.
“They were not unlike the Brothers Grimm tales, and I really didn’t create work that way so Bridget and I took the essence of these trickster characters, and we took the best and positive out of all of them and created Boo,” explained Jason. “We created our own stories around the myth of the trickster rabbit.”
Syncrude is the presenting sponsor of the exhibit – a first for Jason, Bridget and Boo who are excited about the opportunities it will provide for children and parents to learn how stories are created, and how to connect the stories to their own lives.
The exhibit runs until April 2015 at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton.