May 21 – July 4, 2011
Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)
Familiar Strangers / Les Etrangers Familiers is the result of a long process between two artists of different cultures, languages and ages. Agnes Ananichuk is a Ukraine-Canadian and lives in Victoria, BC and Sylvain Tanguay is a Franco-Quebecois and lives in Amos, Quebec. These two artists began their work together while participating in an exchange project between Atelier Mille Feuille of Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec and that of Ground Zero Printmakers of Victoria, BC, the site of the show Strangers II. Since then, they have continued to work in symbiosis using the content of their respective families’ collection of old photographs and other ideas resulting from the evolving relationship.
The work is continuing to evolve from using the old photographs to looking at the interment of Eastern Europeans – the majority of whom were Ukrainians – in camps across Canada during the First World War. One of these camps was located near Amos, Quebec near the home of Tanguay. He is very aware of this aspect of Canadian history and has incorporated some of this history into his work.
This show demonstrates some of the possibilities in the use of modern communication and technology in a creative process and the development of friendship between diverse individuals at a geographic distance. The works included a variety of printmaking techniques including collographs, photogravures and linocuts plus collage based on the combined works/materials from both artists. This exhibit shows how this relationship and collaboration evolved and the increasing warmth and familiarity of the artists. Having never met, they are friends.