Saturday, October 5, 2013

Meeting Diana Thorneycroft


Diana Thorneycroft and me
at her opening, Canadians and Americans (best friends forever... it's complicated)
Michael Gibson Gallery, London, Ontario

Diana and Tippi Hedren and me 
On Thursday night (October 3, 2013), I met one of my art heroes- Diana Thorneycroft! (note my goofy smile)  The Michael Gibson Gallery was packed with fans, but I was able to speak with Diana for about 5 minutes.  She was very charming and smiled a lot.  I expressed my admiration for her work, and then I tried to sound deep and meaningful as we had a chat about my current work with mannequins.  We agreed that I need to start photographing my shadowboxes because dioramas like the ones we both create take up a lot of space in a small studio.  In meeting Diana, I felt I had found one more of my 'kind'.  My favourite Diana piece, in the background of the above photographs, is entitled "Nighthawks (What Would Jack Bauer Do?)". 
I became an admirer of Diana Thorneycroft's work about five years ago, when my friend and fellow artist Mark Reinhart sent me a link to her website.  The Doll Mouth Series reminded Mark of my work with dolls.  I was in the midst of a doll art phase and it was intriguing for me to see the work of another artist who is also fascinated with photographing dolls in a very Vogue Magazine-like and overtly sexual way.   
Doll Mouth (lipstick), C print, 2004
from The Doll Mouth Series
I was truly was inspired when I saw her exhibition last year at the Art Gallery of Windsor, Group of Seven Awkward Moments.  Here are my two favourite works from that show.
Group of Seven Awkward Moments (Fatal Accident near Ski Tracks), digital photograph, 2009
Group of Seven Awkward Moments (White Pine and the Group of Dwarfs), digital photograph, 2009
And now, two of my shadowboxes.
Go Fish, 2007
37.5"w x 30.5"h x 5"d
(which would make a fantastic large-scale photograph!)
Our Lady of Perpetual Light, 2011 ("The Saints Series")
from the 2012 exhibition Sacred & Profane
24"w x 28"h x 5"d
(again, another large-scale photograph opportunity)

And one of my collages.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, 2012
79.5"w x 26"h x 3"d
As you can see, we have the same obsession with meticulously-placed objects, and we create statements by using nostalgia and juxtaposition.  We share a similar dark sense of humour.  We're both subversive.  And I'm sure Diana's studio is packed to the rafters with cool stuff, as is mine.

I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to meet Diana Thorneycroft.  I can't wait for her next series!  She told me that she has a freeze-dried bat that she is going to use. 
Like I said, I feel that I have met another one of my 'kind'.