Connect with Diana Thorneycroft at Riding Mountain National Park

Diana Thorneycroft

The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency provides professional artists with an opportunity to be inspired and create their works in the park’s setting. In return these professional artists invite visitors to interact with them and uniquely discover the park through their eyes and works.

During Diana’s Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency, she will be creating miniature tableau landscapes, which, once photographed, will become part of the series Black Forest (dark waters).

“Normally I work indoors and use merchandise that mimics elements of a natural landscape, but while at Riding Mountain, I will be combining the outdoor environment surrounding the cabin, with products that are normally reserved for studio use,” said Diana.

Black Forest (deep waters) is part of a larger installation entitled Herd. Diana describes Herd as a fairy tale that involves altered horses and their caregivers, equally transformed herdsmen. The unfolding story suggests a community has formed, with each character playing a role.

“In many fairy tales, the forest is seen as a source of threat, filled with danger – where horrible things happen to innocent people,” said Diana. “In keeping with that emotional tenor, the suggestion of nefarious activity is of utmost importance, but equally crucial is the presence of exquisite beauty found within the landscape itself.”

The title Black Forest (dark waters) partly stems from the way in which Diana lights each staged tableau. Once the set is prepared and ready to be photographed, she turns off the lights in her studio, or when working outdoors, waits until the sun goes down. In total darkness, she locks the shutter of the camera open and illuminates the set using a hand held flashlight. It is this inconsistent light source that gives the photographs an ethereal quality.

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 Distiction, 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.

Thorneycroft taught as a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art for 25 years. Since 2010 she has been focusing on her studio practice full time, and has gallery representation in Canada, the US and Europe.

Herd will be shown at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon from June 28th to August 25th, 2018.

Heading out to Riding Mountain?

Connect with Diana on Saturday, September 16th at 2:00 p.m at the Deep Bay cabin.