MARIA memorializes the victims of the 1932-33 famine in Soviet Ukraine - Holodomor - an event widely thought to be genocidal. At its center is a single vernacular image of a young girl who survived and resides in Canada - millions did not.
The work, in book and exhibition forms, presents my intellectual and emotional response, informed by current research and the stories shared by survivors in the Ukrainian Canadian community I grew up in.
The project utilizes three kinds of images from series entitled RED, TRANSFIGURATION and COUNTING. A fictional album of Maria’s life offers an illusionary sense of order while pointing to the impending horror. Lead-like images derived from a laborious process and the use of ash, pigments, parchment, wax and felt express the feeling of starvation – the body transformed into skin and bone - the spirit destroyed. An abstract representation of the ancient Salamis counting tool, explores my inability to grasp the conscious eradication of human life on such massive scales.
The installation serves as a mobile memorial, inviting visitors to experience and engage with the works intellectually and sensually. The are accompanied by works across several platforms: a special limited edition art book entitled TRANSFIGURATION, a limited edition book entitled MARIA, a film, textile figurative sculptures and a lecture series.
The book TRANSFIGURATION is held in the private and rare and special collections of the following institutions:
Library of Congress, Washington
The Athenaeum, Boston
Stanford University, Stanford
University of Miami, Maimi
Columbia University, New York
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs
University of California, Santa Barbara
Bowdoin College, Brunswick
TRANSFIGURATION is represented by TWO PONDS Press in the US. For more information contact TWO PONDS PRESS