Artist’s Inspiration: Maria Drazilov
We invited local artists to respond to the theme of Rites of Passage as part of our Wall of Art series, a quarterly juried art show produced in partnership with Guelph Arts Council. The submissions received were incredibly varied, as each artist brought a truly unique perspective to the theme. For this blog series, we asked the artists to share their inspiration and the story that their piece tells.
Maria Drazilov- Rebirth, and My Family Tree
One of the benefits of aging is that it affords us a perspective greater in scope than when we were young. Our memory repository is inexhaustible with life experiences to reflect upon. As an artist, I’ve always been interested in storytelling and stringing together certain moments in my life to create an ever-changing narrative. I have always loved photography because of its ability to document a moment in time, so effortlessly. The images provide me with a wealth of information and inspire me to respond creatively, conjuring up a personal story to share with others.
There were several moments in my life that led me from girlhood to the next stage of life, but they were never celebrated, other than birthdays. My mother had a tough life, and she certainly didn’t think life was for enjoying, though she took comfort in our mother/daughter relationship and we enjoyed each other’s company. I learned how strong a woman could be, from both her and my grandmother, who had it even tougher. As a mother, and having my own daughter, I’ve relished in her girlhood and tried to celebrate those moments which took her to the next level of maturity, if even with a few words to mark the occasion. I learned from these two women that a mother/daughter relationship is something to cherish and enjoy.
The women in our family have always held it together, making sense of every family crisis, repairing all of life’s mishaps with emotional strength and resourcefulness. I have been lucky enough to celebrate my grandmother’s 96th birthday and reflect upon the four generations of women and girls in my extended family.
I can remember a family trip in which I took my kids to a Californian desert in search of sand dunes and desert landscapes. My son was thirteen at the time, and he felt a need to go off exploring on his own. I noticed him in the distance with the sun setting behind him and I snapped a picture of this. I recognized this as a significant moment in his life from which he changed from a boy into a man, set against nature’s dramatic display of light. I would later superimpose this image onto my grandmother’s palm, which displayed a full array of lifelines, if her fortune were to be read. Would she be reborn into another life? Maybe the Buddhists have it right, and karma will dictate the next life we are born into.
Many people believe that death is merely the beginning of a transition in spirit from an old life to a new one. Ever since the beginning of time, we have attempted to creatively interpret our daily struggles through storytelling as a way of searching for meaning in our existence. Along the journey of our lives, change is always inevitable. The cycle of constant renewal and death emulates that of Mother Nature and the world we live in.
Maria’s two pieces Rebirth, and My Family Tree are on display at the Guelph Civic Museum until January 8, 2017.