Diana Thorneycroft is a Winnipeg artist who has exhibited various bodies of work across Canada, the United States and Europe, as well as in Moscow, Tokyo and Sydney. She is the recipient of numerous awards including an Assistance to Visual Arts Long-term Grant from the Canada Council, several Senior Arts Grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her work has been the subject of national radio documentaries and a CBC national documentary for television.
Her seemingly comical images composed of innocent subjects—dolls and toy figurines—and set against the landscapes of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries reveal, upon a closer examination, a deeper and darker meaning.
Besides the beautiful images after the jump you will find two amazing video interviews with the visual artist & photographer.
Thorneycroft’s work has been included in the 2002 released Phaidon Press publication Blink, which presents the work of 100 rising stars in photography. They have been selected by 10 world-class curators, each proposing 10 photographers who they consider to have emerged and broken new ground in the last five years. Canadian Art Magazine selected Thorneycroft’s most recent body of work “Group of Seven Awkward Moments” as one of The Top 10 Exhibitions of 2008.
Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft takes historical Canadian landscapes, combines them with her own complex dioramas, and records them with her camera. The result is a skewed representation of the unique Canadian experience. Early Snow with Bob and Doug (of the Group of Seven Awkward Moments series) depicts iconic Canadian characters Bob and Doug McKenzie surrounded by wolves while getting intoxicated in Tom Thomson’s Early Snow wilderness. Their oblivion to their forthcoming demise is a direct play on the idiosyncrasy, anxiety, and contradictions that form Canadian identity.
In the words of Thorneycroft, “Canadian history is full of awkward moments and that is more of a reality than this heroic landscape that the Group of Seven portrayed.”
Through her dioramic compositions of everyday life and historical events unfolding against the majestic landscapes of the artists associated with the Group of Seven, Thorneycroft explores notions of national pride and cultural ideologies whilst deconstructing mythological narratives. Imbued with national motifs and everyday paraphernalia, her works uncover stories about Canadian life—past and present, real and fictive.
“My work is not representative of dreams but comes from the same place as dreams” — This is perhaps the best explanation of the work of photographer Diana Thorneycroft.
Video interview with Diana Thorneycroft, artist photographer exhibits her artistic takeoff on the Group Of Seven at the McMichael. Includes views on Bob and Doug, Tom Thompson, Tim Hortons, Avro Arrow, Snow White, Winnie, and hockey on the Don River.
The was also interviewed for the Wolseley episode of The Artist Next Door.