Black Forest (dark waters) brings together three interconnected bodies of work by Canadian artist, Diana Thorneycroft.  The two sculptural installations are presented as physical evidence of the cryptic narrative that unfolds in the photographs. Thematically, the work addresses issues of difference, alteration, abjection; all tied together as in a fairy tale.

Herd consists of more than a hundred and fifty plastic toy horses, half of which have been altered, galloping up a 40-foot ramp. At the end of the ramp, which in its entirely is covered with a blanket of snow, they appear to be leaping through the gallery wall. While the familiar shapes and the stiff action poses remains for some of the horses, others are disfigured and morphed: melted, mangled, and altered with prosthetics, pieces of wood, nails, badger claws, bones, hair, and teeth. These horses appear at once vulnerable and powerful, tamed and wild.

The photographic series Black Forest (dark waters) explores the relationship between horses and the humanoid keepers of their herd. The horses, herdsmen, and their interactions exist in the realm of the uncanny and the grotesque; informed by fairy tales and mythology, the Black Forest is a dangerous place that provides the stage for intersecting dynamics of power, violence, ritual, desire, and care.

The third body of work Village, displayed on a large low plinth, consists of strange architectural constructions that “house” the herdsmen and some of the horses. Not unlike the sentient beings presented in the installation, the buildings, huts, chairs, swings, ladders etc. are structurally flawed and embellished with a myriad of equally unorthodox textures.

Diana Thorneycroft is a Winnipeg artist who has exhibited various bodies of work across Canada, the United States and Europe, as well as in Moscow, Tokyo and Sydney. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2016 Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction, an Assistance to Visual Arts Long-term Grant from the Canada Council, several Senior Arts Grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre for the Arts.  Her work is represented locally at the Christine Klassen Gallery.

Opening reception January 30 4:00 – 9:00 pm (remarks at 5:15 pm).

Presented by Nickle Galleries, with exhibition catalogue by Art Gallery of Burlington.

Diana Thorneycroft acknowledges support for the exhibition and tour from the Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council.