(1914 - 1978)
|Joseph Sleep grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick. He worked in the fishing industry and as a jack-of-all trades, eventually going to work with the Bill Lynch Shows, a carnival which travelled through eastern Canada. He was hospitalized in 1973 and began drawing at that time. He later opened a small studio on Argyle Street in Halifax.
Work by Joe Sleep is included in the collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History.
Joe Sleep was filmed two years before his death and the film was shown with the Joe Sleep Retrospective exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 1981. The film is directed by Harold Pearse and produced by Atlantic Filmmakers Co-op. It is described as "a tender portrait of a great character". You can view it online by clicking here.
Ref: Marie Ellwood, Folk Art of Nova Scotia (1976); Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies, From The Heart - Folk Art in Canada (1983); Bihalji-Merin, World Encyclopaedia of Naive Art (1985); Kobayashi/Bird, A Compendium of Canadian Folk Artists (1985); A.G.N.S., Nova Scotia Folk Art - Canada's Cultural Heritage (1989) ; Blake McKendry, An Illustrated Companion to Canadian Folk Art (1999), Bernard Riordon (Beaverbrook Gallery), Canadian Folk Art from the Collection of Susan A. Murray (2007).
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