Hotspur Studio
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Painting is an affirmation of the existent, of the physical world into which mankind has been thrown.
John Berger

The blue and the yellow and the red all began to mix together. It was a terrible mess. But when the Wizard saw what was happening, he exclaimed, That is the answer! And he danced joyfully around the cellar.
Arnold Lobel, The Great Blueness and other predicaments

Landscapes are culture before they are nature; constructs of the imagination projected onto wood, water and rock.
Simon Schama

I am not so interested in how they move but what moves them. Pina Bausch

Life is a slow transformation from the material to the ethereal. On this journey I believe we struggle to have understanding, wisdom and purpose.  Painting is an act of connection to, and a manifestation of this struggle.

My work up to now has attempted to tell the story of how buildings and things we make as humans, get left behind when the cycle of an economy is done.  The objects I focus on are abandoned; like headstones they mark a death, a resting place where once a community stirred.  In my paintings I reanimate them in order to evoke a sentient landscape. They are to me the residues of our need to mark ourselves onto the land. The ineffable area between the land, its indifference to us, and our need to see our image somewhere on its surface is where I want my work to exist. 

I used photography in my work to distil time.  I liked to use the same photograph in different paintings; it addressed my need to overcome sentiment.  A photograph can be an unforgiving reminder of time, place and entropy.  I thrive on the clash between the cold documentation of a photograph and the emotive trajectory of painting. I also used stencils, line drawings, pens, ink, crayons, pencil crayons and other non-professional art materials.  Although I continue to mix medias in my work, I rely more and more on the experience of paint.  I work toward an aesthetic quest - to find the right expression of a landscape which fulfills a larger vision than that of reflection.

I was a playwright for ten years in Toronto in the 1990s. I have struggled since then to find a way to meld the expression of writing with that of painting. This seems to still be a story I am working on and have yet to figure out the ending.

Through art I have come to realize that creativity is a force that flows through the world, and those who harness it are people aware of their mortality.  Like ancient peoples that painted animals on the walls of caves to connect to their food and/or their deity, I too have a desire to connect to the world I have been thrown into.


Victoria Ward was born in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. A painter primarily, Ward still writes and contributes to catalogues, cultural journals and digital sites across Canada. She lives near Algonquin Park in a log cabin with her partner Gary Blundell. 


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