Opening Reception: Thursday January 23 (7-11pm)
Exhibition Dates: January 23 – 29, 2014
Ilana van Zyl was born and raised in South Africa. After studying Graphic Design and Photography her focus shifted to drawing and painting, Ilana complete her bachelor degree in fine arts with distinction at OCADU in Canada in 2012. She currently resides in Toronto where she is pursuing painting as a full time career.
Ilana’s work explores the relationship between memory, landscape and color. After taking reference photos, Ilana uses thin layers of oil paint and softened brush strokes to create her glowing landscapes. As an immigrant to Canada, she is particularly interested in the sense of connection we feel to landscapes that stem from our past. She is intrigued by the romanticized notion of a place that has inevitably changed in our absence and will likely result in estrangement upon returning to it.
In anticipation of this sense of estrangement, she uses electric and heightened colors to connect a vibrant past to a new home, creating a hybrid place. This space doesn’t really exist and is neither here nor there, but her paintings represent a place that is uniquely her own. Using non-local colors allows her to impart her distinct aesthetic signature onto each image. Combining her textured South African past with her new Canadian environment Ilana creates potent landscape paintings rich with nostalgia and a vision of the future that is united by her experiences.