Sculptural Works & Investigations

The Circle and the Dot is a mixed-media installation inspired by Scottish folklore and Saskatchewan architecture, which relates to my Ukrainian ancestry. It merges contemporary forms with ceramic techniques and material connections used by my ancestors. As a third-generation Canadian, my heritage is complex, and in asking where I come from, I am faced with my Settler relations. The work was inspired by an archaic building technique of wattle and daub, which was used by Ukrainians as they settled along the Canadian prairie in structures called a burdei. Wattle and daub are interwoven willow sticks covered with a mud composite.

In my work, I aim to revive these material connections used by my Ukrainian ancestors and blend Scottish Folklore elements from my mothers ancestry, into contemporary art expressions. I have created willow forms inspired by a fragment of Scottish Folklore ritual known as Skekling, using wattle and daub techniques. Skeklers dressed in enigmatic straw costumes to embody supernatural beings while concealing their true identities. This concept of concealment deeply resonates with me as I reflect upon my family’s assimilation into Canadian culture and uncover suppressed and forgotten aspects of my cultural identity.

I work to revive these material connections and stories from my ancestry to connect with the identity of Settler. To call one’s self a Settler, one should possess a connection to the natural environment and its inhabitants. Working with the earth’s materials and people requires skill, respect and ingenuity.

 

Cairn #1Daub Composite, 3’x5′, 2022

Process, Photograph, Wooden Bowl Blanks, Daub Mud Pit, 2022

Skekler’s, Willow, Daub, Rattan, Lime Wash, 8’x4′, 2022

 

The Skeklers” is a suspended sculpture designed for dancers to interact with. The interplay between humans and objects explores
the realm between the mortal and the ethereal, where human and inanimate forms converge. This art piece portrays the movements and materiality inherent in human and non-human environments.

 The Skekler sculpture is created using a traditional Ukrainian building method called wattle and daub. Ceramic techniques were transferred into the willow armatures, attaching daub within the sculptural form using rattan, clay, and horsehair, and finished with limewash. The inspiration for this piece comes from the Scottish folklore of Skekling. Skeklers dressed in enigmatic straw costumes embody supernatural beings while shrouding their true identities. The contemporary forms reflect the assimilation into Canadian culture. Using materials and folk stories used by my ancestors liberated me to construct an environment and explore human complexities.

Skekler’s, Detail 

Skekler, Willow, Daub, Ceramic, Horse Hair, Rattan, Lime Wash, 8’x3′, 2022

Skekler, Detail

 Children from Fetlar dressed as skeklers, Shetland, 1909. © Shetland Museum Used with permission from the Shetland Museum & Archives, Curator Ian Tait, 2022. 

There is also a photographic record of these magical creatures, a group of boys photographed in Fetlar in 1909 while there is evidence of tradition up until 1958, the tail of a ritual whose meaning was lost.

What are we Feeding, Barrel-fired ceramics, 2022

Process photos below

By blending dance with my immersive installation, I explore the corporeal and the ethereal realm, where human and inanimate forms converge.

Cairn, Daub, 3′ x 5′, 2023

Skekler’s 2, Willow, Daub, White Wash, 7’x3′, 5.5’x2′, 2024

Inspiration for this artwork came from a stone grotto constructed by Polish and Ukrainian people just before the Second World War in Rama, SK. My grandparents and father were born in this town. In an earlier sculpture titled Cairn #1, I faced some installation challenges which resulted in occasional landslides when stacking the daub rocks. This experience led me to explore new configurations of the work, inspired by the scale and imagination of the grotto and merged with wattle and daub building techniques.

Process & Investigation: Obelisk Daub Forms

VISIT INSTAGRAM FOR MORE PROCESS DOCUMENTATION ON EXPERIMENTAL DAUB

PURGE  “As makers we invent and inject meaning into our work. While holding dear our material specialties, I am not fearful to extend my reach into new territory making the creative and material choices necessary to fill the role as narrator. Creative pursuits in exploring new mediums  are key in my growth as an artist. Pushing my own boundaries is important for my growth as an artist and person.”

I come from a history of collectors and with the recent down sizing of my Grandma Hosaluk’s home, I naturally gathered items that spoke to me throughout the two year process and stored objects into my studio.  It was the placement of a doll head on top of a shadow box mounted on the wall, that provoked the wall box original function to be lost and it was this construction that led me to explore the doll and it’s body as a way to express new ideas.  The fragility of the porcelain parallels the delicate nature that surrounds childhood sexuality and trauma, while the weight and permanence of bronze & wood have characteristics of strength. These sculptures combine the unique histories of the found objects that express ideas in a way no other material can.  With these sculptures, I want to explore my story by creating physical artifacts that link me to a common history.

If Fishes Were Wishes, The Dishes Be Done, Porcelain and wood, 14×8″, 2010

Ideal Doll, Decoy Exhibition,
The
Affinity
Gallery, 
Saskatoon,
SK, 2012

The Story of Six Exhibition , Appalachian
Center
 for Craft,
Smithville, TN, USA, 2012

Studio Process

Pagan Doll, Artifact Exhibition, 
Affinity
Gallery,
Saskatoon,
SK
, 2010

The Story of Six Exhibition, Appalachian
Center
 for Craft,
Smithville, TN, USA, 2012

The Wait, Wood, Porcelain, Found Object, 15 x 12 cm, 2012
 Rise Up, Bronze, 5 x 3cm, 2011
Saint Seen, Bronze and Ceramic Cast, 15 x 15cm, 2011
 Hear no evil, See no evil,
Bronze, 7x 15cm, 2011

These Things Build Up, Porcelain, Hair, Wood, 12cmx10cmx17cm 2012

Rattle Me, Porcelain, Acrylic, Found Objects, 17cm x 10cm 2013

Baby Goth, Ceramic, Wood, Acrylic, Found Object, Horse Hair, 16cm x 8cm, 2014

Party Boy, Ceramic, Wood, Acrylic, Plaster, 15cm x 10cm, 2013

Let’s Piece This Together, Porcelain, Wood, Found Object, Arcylic, 6x3x4″, 2013

Party Boy, Porcelain, Wood, Found Object, Arcylic, 7x4x4″, 2015

 

It was the addition of colored acrylics and the addition of eyes that began to take works in new directions.

Baby Rattle, Porcelain, Found Object, Acrylic,  12cmx5cm, 2014

XY Chromosome, Porcelain, Acrylic, Wood, 10 x7x10cm, 2013

Tornado Brains, Porcelain, Wood, Wire, 20x12x12, 2014

HUGO, (left) Porcelain, Wood, 19x11cm, 2015, Baby Buck,  Porcelain, Wood, Acrylicv, 15×12, 2015

XY Chromosome, 

XX Chromosome, Porcelain, Acrylic, Wood, 10 x7x10cm, 2013

XX Chromosome, Porcelain, Acrylic, Wood, 10 x7x10cm, 2013

Process

Process

Scrutiny, 20x12x14, Porcelain, Wood, Wire, Tape, 2014

Quarter Pint, Porcelain,Found Object,Wire 18x11x10, 2015

Tiny Twister, Porcelain, Wire, 12x6x10cm, 2012

Process

Process

Pysanka Vinegar Etch, 2018

MORE INVESTIGATIONS TO COME

Pysanka Vinegar Etch,  wax resist,2018