Take trip through Black Forest at Vernon Art Gallery

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft brings ominous exhibition to town in time for Halloween


Just in time for Halloween, an art exhibit that explores the dark mythology of the Black Forest is coming to the Vernon Public Art Gallery.

An exhibition by Canadian artist Diana Thorneycroft called Black Forest (village) will be on display from Oct. 10-Dec. 19. The exhibition brings together a selection of works from her recent projects, Herd and Black Forest (dark waters) and consists of large- and medium-scale photographs depicting dark and mysterious fairy tale narratives as well as a large platform containing architectural constructions.

Thorneycroft’s exhibit is a space created for “fictional dialogues between the themes of power, violence and ritual, while asking the viewers to consider the human condition and our desires,” in the words of gallery curator Lubos Culen.

“In many aspects, Thorneycroft’s exhibition accentuates fairy tale and folklore stories where the forest is seen as a source of threat, filled with danger where frightful, grim and ghostly things may transpire.”

Thorenycroft’s stage is populated by figures and other props produced between 2015 and 2018, with fictitious characters taking on bizarre appearances in reference to the grotesque and uncanny — two Gothic themes commonly attached to Black Forest lore.

An internationally acclaimed artist, Thorneycroft. Photographs and dioramas are primarily at play here: dioramas made of altered toy dolls and other materials are photographed using long-exposure shots.

The dolls are arranged as a group of village characters and wield threatening objects such as axes, bolt cutters, whips and nooses.

“The exhibition as a whole addresses the themes of power struggles, implied violence, and the dark ritualistic aspects that permeate the staged tableaux,” explains Culen.

Thorneycroft has received numerous awards during her career, including the 2016 Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction, senior arts grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre for the Arts. She’ll be doing an installation at the gallery on Oct. 8 and 9.

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