‘Sentinels and their Charge’ reflects aspects of the alternative world created by artist Diana Thorneycroft. Grounded in the realm of contemporary fairy tales, the hybrid beings and their environments embrace the grotesque and the fantastic, and are often integrated into a storyline that refuses the comfort of closure.
The three front windows at Mayberry Fine Art allow Thorneycroft to see the installation as a triptych. In the right and left panels, stationary figures are presented on wooden platforms attached to richly embellished posts. These “Birdmen” will appear as sentinel guardsmen to the creature appearing in the centre space. Their accompanying accoutrements (walkie-talkies, binoculars, whips and lassos) imply action and protection.
A newly constructed Boschian “Flying Fish” will be featured in the central window. The flying fish, which incorporates the skeleton of a carp, an altered figurine and various textural embellishments, will be suspended from the ceiling, slowly turn in the space.
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 Distinction, 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.
Her early work was the subject of national radio documentaries and a CBC national documentary for television. From 2000-2002, Thorneycroft’s photo-based exhibition, ‘The Body, its lesson and camouflage’ toured to eight venues. Several images from this work show were included in the 2002 Phaidon Press publication Blink, which presents “the work of 100 rising stars in photography.” The artists were selected by 10 world-class curators, each proposing 10 photographers who they consider to have emerged and broken ground in the last five years.