Artist Liana Russwurm was born in 1966 into an artistic family in Elmira, Ontario who always encouraged her creative side. Liana lived in Vancouver for a time and as well as in Montreal and has spent time working in a glass studio and owning a small glass business. Liana moved to Alvinston in Lambton County after discovering a vacated church for sale in the area. The church now stands as her home and studio.
In Montreal, Liana came to a turning point. "The idea was that once I had more money, I could focus on painting. Years passed and I didn't have time to paint and became very unhappy. That's when I decided I had nothing to lose and quit everything to return to school," Liana says.
In 2002 Liana moved to Toronto and enrolled at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD). Her final year was spent in Florence and we can still see the influences of Italian masters like Caravaggio in her "style (which is) reminiscent of his use of light and dark, and his goals to show physical as well as psychological reality." - Liana Russwurm
“My paintings in The Weird and the Wonderful… explore the imagination and residual imagery we retain from childhood,” says Liana Russwurm. “Imagery we access on an ongoing basis as we grow, one that plays a role in the way that we see ourselves as adults.”
“Liana begins by staging her compositions with models, make-up and props. Liana has an interest in masks, vintage dolls, puppets and marionettes – which stand as important figures in her arranged scenarios. She works from digital images that act as a sketch for the finished oil paintings,” says gallery Associat Director Danielle Hoevenaars.
The photos are, “a visual reference for the impressions left from the ruminants of this psychological clutter of our childhood,” says Liana.
Liana says of the finished works: “The result is a series of paintings that, although rendered beautifully through detail and vibrant colours, will leave the viewer not sure of how they feel. “
See the full collection of her work at Westland Gallery starting October 4th and hear more from Liana at our artist talk on October 12th.