Terrēnus Paterna (view from above), 22″ x 22″ x 6″, gouache and graphite on paper and thread, 2020

A couple days ago the BIBLIO NORDICA exhibition opened at the Vyhod Media Centre in Petrozavodsk, Russia. I feel honoured and humbled to have my work in this show alongside a group of amazing artists from around the Northern Hemisphere.

Early this year I was asked to be part of this exhibition, at the same place where I did an artist residency in 2018. The organizers have been planning this exhibition for many years and finally it was coming to fruition. The concept of the show was “book of the north”. At first, I was surprised to be included in an exhibition about the north as I live in one of the most southerly places of Canada, but of course on a grander scale I do live in the north, very much so in fact. The artists were encouraged to creatively think about these two concepts, “book” and “north”, and approach them from whichever angle we would prefer.

In February I began working on my art piece. I decided that my book should be about my connection to Russia and so I decided to do a little digging in my family history. Thinking about the locations that my ancestors lived in relation to the “north” I realized they have almost circumnavigated the globe between the 60th and 50th parallels.

I am grateful to have a rich collection of historical information to draw from when it comes to family history. I was able to borrow family history books from my parents and stacks of old photographs. The photos have become intermingled, combining a hundred years of history together in one box. A collection of information about people that are connected to me, but grow blurry and disant as they reach further back in history. The photographs and images from these ancestry books were my source material for this project.

I wanted to share my piece with you now that the show has opened as a way of participating and connecting with this exhibition half way across the world. I created a page on my website (click here to view) with my artist statement and images of this artwork, titled Terrēnus Paterna.

A special thank you to artist Natalia Egorova for the above images

List of partisipants in BIBLIO NORDICA:
Artem Starodubtsev ( Petrozavodsk, Russia)
Alison McCreesh (Yellowknife, Canada)
Aleksandra Haeseker (Calgary, Canada)
Anu Torikka (Joensuu, Finland)
Arja Valkonen – Goldblatt (Heinävaara, Finland)
Derek  Michael  Besant (Calgary, Canada)
Ivan Lisichkin (Petrozavodsk, Russia)
Natasha van Netten (Victoria, Canada)
Natalia Loginova (Petrozavodsk, Russia)
Natalia Egorova (Petrozavodsk, Russia)
Sandra Burek (Kongsberg, Norway)
Sergei Terentiev (Petrozavodsk, Russia)

A special thank you to the Vyhod Media Centre team for the above images

Vyhod Media Centre, opening night of BIBLIO NORDICA (image curtesy of Vyhod Media Centre)

Thank you Vyhod Media Centre, the installation and gallery team and Varvara for organizing, handling communications and curating.