Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Artwork of the Week!

Week 9:

Diana Thorneycroft (born 1956)
Self-portrait in Field of Dolls II
Black and white silver print

Internationally recognized photographer Diana Thorneycroft obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Manitoba’s School of Art and subsequently studied at the University of Wisconsin, where she received a Master of Arts in Art. Until the late-1980s, Thorneycroft concentrated primarily on drawing and printmaking. Self-portrait in Field of Dolls II was one of the first successful photographs she produced. Shot with infrared film on a warm summer night in a friend’s yard in Winnipeg, the subject matter and theatricality of this piece is indicative of the direction that Thorneycroft’s photographs would take in the years ahead. From exhibitions Touching: The Self, in which this image was included, to The Body, its lesson and camouflage, the artist spent several years photographing her own body, examining issues of gender, identity, vulnerability, the subconscious and the grotesque. Thorneycroft has also worked with dolls in both her photographic practice and in her drawings for more than twenty years. Employing them as human surrogates, Thorneycroft not only laid down beside dolls, she has distorted and manipulated them to act as metaphors for pain and suffering. Technically beautiful, Thorneycroft’s images are always challenging and they often raise disturbing questions about our psyche.

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