©Sergey Talochko

©Sergey Talochko

Known for her compelling and sculptural images, Lesia Maruschak is recognized as an influential contemporary photographer manifesting the visual memory of history. Born in Saskatoon (Canada) in 1961, she spent her childhood on the Canadian prairies, land settled by her ancestors in 1897. Maruschak served for decades as an executive leader in the Canadian government when a leukemia diagnosis changed her life. She turned her attention to art and travelled the world to study with the renowned Byzantine painter, George Kordis who later invited her to be his curator. In 2016 she returned to photography, which she had experimented with in her youth. Through her reconnection to image making she found a unique way to engage in issues relevant to contemporary society while challenging current photographic dialogues.
In awarding Maruschak with the 2019 Curator’s Award, celebrated independent curator and educator Monica Allende noted that, “Maruschak's work reflects on the visual memory of history, and the role of the artist in the decolonization of narratives which are critical issues in photography debate.” Maruschak’s humanist approach and abstract representation of history’s victims sets her apart from other photographers. In her images she privileges each person’s untarnished soul and voice.
Maruschak creates works that manifest the “memory of making”.   Her aesthetics are founded in materiality, through the use of ancient artistic methods including encaustics, egg tempera and gilding, which all stem from her practice as a Byzantine artist.  Through these processes she manifests a profound visual representation of loss and migration. Strong influences of the Canadian prairies play an integral role, resonating throughout her work. It is here that she makes many of her images, as best exemplified in her recent film, The Diggers.
Maruschak’s works involves painting, performance, sculpture, book making and film. Her photographs have been exhibited in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Korea and throughout Europe. Many of her pieces are included in rare and special collections.  Museums holding her works include: the Phoenix Art Museum, Stanford University, Athenaeum, Columbia University, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and the Library of Congress. She has lectured at conferences such as FORMAT 19 at the University of Derby, UK (2019) and Why Remember? Sarajevo, BA (2019). She has been an invited guest to photo festivals including PhotoVenezia (2018) and Palm Springs Photo Festival (2017). In 2014, the Governor General of Canada presented Maruschak with the Caring Canadian and Silver Medal Award for her work.
In 2019 Maruschak's seminal work Project MARIA received the Director’s Choice Award at Santa Fe Center, Grand Prix Award at Kyiv Arsenal Book Festival and was Shortlisted for the Hariban Award at Benrido Atelier, Prix du livre at Rencontres d’Arles and the Athens Photobook Festival. As a 2019 grant recipient from the First World War Internment Recognition Fund, Maruschak’s project In our DNA explores the trauma of  children exiled in  Canada's World War One internment camps.
Maruschak has an MA and MBA. She spends her time between Alvena and Ottawa, Canada.

 


EDUCATION
2017 Masterclass with Peter Lindbergh, Palm Springs (USA)
MBA, University of Ottawa (CA)
Master’s of Arts, Ethnography, University of Saskatchewan (CA)

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
International Museum for the Victims of Communism, Tallinn, 2021
MARIA, Sarajevo Museum of History, Sarajevo, 2021
MARIA, Holodomor Victims Memorial Museum, Kyiv, 2020
MARIA, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Boone, 2020
WALKING, Maine Media Art Gallery, Rockport 2018
MARIA, Musée Ukraina Museum, Saskatoon, 2018
KRAÏNA: i am the land, Kharkiv, 2017
KRAÏNA: i am the land, Kyiv, 2017
KRAÏNA: i am the land, Odessa, 2017
KRAÏNA: i am the land, Lviv, 2017
MY CANADA: City of Ottawa, Ottawa, 2017
KRAÏNA: My Canada, CONTACT Scotiabank Photography Festival, KUMF Gallery. Toronto, 2017

COLLECTIONS (select)
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Durham, NC
Green Library-Special Collections. Stanford University. Stanford, CA
Richter Library-Special Collections. University of Miami. Coral Gables, FL
Boston Athenaeum. Boston, MA
Rare Books & Special Collections. Library of Congress. Washington, DC
Davidson Library-Special Collections. University of California Santa Barbara
Butler Library-Special Collections. Columbia University. New York, NY
Hawthorne-Longfellow Library-Special Collections. Bowdoin College. Brunswick, ME
Dodds Special Collections Library. University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT
Olin Library-Special Collections. Wesleyan University. Middletown, CT
Morris Library-Special Collections. University of Delaware. Newark, DE
Aperture Photobook Library. New York, NY
Phoenix Museum of Art. Phoenix, AZ
National Library of Canada. Ottawa, CA
National Library of Ukraine. Kyiv, UA
24 Sussex, Prime Minister of Canada’s Residence. Ottawa, CA

COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS (select)
Fotofilmic18, The Reference. Seoul, KR 2020
Reclaim Photography Festival, Imperfection in Beauty, Light House Media Center. Wolverhampton, UK 2020
Fotofilmic18, SF Cameraworks. San Francisco, USA 2020
Le Plac'Art Photo at Rencontres d’Arles, Galerie ISO. Arles, FR 2019
Objectif FEMMES, MARIE 9th. Paris, FR 2019
ParisArtistes, Bastille. Paris, FR 2019
Center Award Winners Exhibition, Picture Gallery. Bloomington, USA 2020
An Eye For Beauty, The PhotoGallery. Halmstad, SE 2019
Fotofilmic18, Polygon. Vancouver, CA 2019
Altered Realities, PhotoPlace Gallery. Middlebury, USA 2019
12th Pollux Awards Collective. Barcelona, ES 2019
12th Julia M. Cameron. Barcelona, ES 2019
Post Conflict Reframing A Dialogue, Getxophoto, 2018
Censored Exhibition, Copenhagen Photo Festival. Copenhagen, DK 2017
Photobooks, Phoenix Art Museum, Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography. Phoenix, USA 2017
Reclaim Photography Festival, Wolverhampton Archive Center. Wolverhampton, UK 2018
Concours international de Beaux-Arts de Chelsea. Agora Gallery, New York, USA 2016
Photography: A Contemporary Point of View. Site: Brooklyn, Brooklyn, USA 2016

AWARDS & GRANTS (select)
Canadian Recognition Fund, Project COUNTLESS, 2019
Project MARIA Shortlisted Hariban Award 2019
Shortlisted Prix du Livres, Rencontres d’Arles, 2019
Recipient Experimental Book Award, Kyiv Arsenal International Book Festival, 2019
Recipient Grand Prix, Best Book Award, Kyiv Arsenal
International Book Festival, 2019 Shortlisted Athens Photography Book Festival, Athens, 2019
Recipient Director’s Choice Award, CENTER Review Santa Fe, 2019
Recipient Artist in Residence Maine Media Workshops and College, 2018
Recipient Silver Medal Tokyo International Photo Awards, 2018
Curated ARCHIVO PLATFORM, 2019
Recipient 12th Pollux Award Human Rights and Segregation, 2018
Recipient Fotofilmic Top 30, 2018
Finalist Critical Mass International Photography Competition, 2018
Shortlist Getxophoto Post Conflict Reframing A Dialogue, 2018
Shortlist Hariban Benrido Collotype Shortlisted, 2017
General of Canada’s Sovereign Medal, 2016
General of Canada’s Caring Canadian Award, 2014

FILM
THE DIGGERS, George Hupka, 2019 (coming soon)
RHYTHMOS, 2017

 

BOOKS
TRANSFIGURATION, Self-published, Limited Edition Art Book, 2018
MARIA, REDZET LLC, 2018
KRAÏNA: I am the land, Self-published, 2017.
WOMAN. Ottawa: Limited Edition Art Book, Self-published, 2017

PUBLICATIONS & INTERVIEWS
Why “MARIA” Is The Most Beautiful Book of the YEAR, Chytomo, 2019
Catching A Fire, Dofoto, Clare Estes, 2019
MARIA: LENSCRATCH, 2019
MARIA: ARCHIVO PLATFORM, 2019
KRAINA: i am the land, Lviv, 2019
Walking, Fotofilmic, 2018
YOGURT MAGAZINE, 2017
Lesia Maruschak, Kyiv Museum of History, 2017
KRAINA: i am the land, DODHO, 2017
WOMAN, DODHO, 2017

LECTURES & WORKSHOPS (select)
‘Will You Remember Maria?’ Why Remember? Sarajevo, 2019
‘Will You Remember Maria?’ FORMAT19, Derby, 2019
‘On MARIA’ Musée Ukraina Museum, Saskatoon, 2018
‘The Language of Creativity’ Master Class Gary Bowman Gallery, Lviv, 2017
‘The Language of Creativity’ Master Class N-T Gallery, Odessa, 2017