Details of Waniuk paintings: (L to R) Tree of Knowledge, The Second Day, They Shall Beat Their Swords, ASHREI HA'ISH
The title, Duality, was inspired by two paintings of that same name. Other paintings were selected for their strength, affinity to each other or their proximity to the duality concept; most obvious being those based on Biblical themes, where duality is a build-in component as in The Tree of Knowledge, A Time To…, And A man Wrestled. In Roman Mythology duality was the domain of Janus the double-faced god who governed over beginning and passage; war and peace; past and future. For my part, duality in its countless forms – pitting one idea against another, finding a constructive way out of a challenging situation, balancing one’s mundane existence with the search for the transcendence – has been a prime motivator in the creative process and present at the root of all my art-making.
My non-figurative, symbolic, language is informed by music and harks back to Modernism. It is an apt vehicle to evoke the inner nature of things, giving form to spiritual and psychological realities. I work exclusively with heavy body acrylics and pallet knives. Each painting is the product of a lengthy process involving numerous layers, which add texture and depth, ultimately investing the image with new understanding and closure.
Born in Germany and raised in Israel, Silvana Waniuk spent her formative years in a village by the Mediterranean. From an early age Silvana showed strong leaning towards music and art. She went to study music education and would later make a living as a classical guitarist. After joining the spiritual association of Subud in 1970, her involvement with art intensified. Silvana immigrated to Canada in 1977 where circumstances demanded a change of focus from music and painting to weaving. She returned to painting in 1986 and has been working steadily ever since.
By and large Silvana is a self-taught artist. About the process of her work Silvana says: “I strive for meaningful content. Thus, each painting embodies a tentative answer to a particular enquiry. The range of my interests is eclectic, corresponding to the continuous flux of life. Probing the deeper meaning of certain stories in the TANACH; highlighting unique states of awareness; or expressing stages in one’s endless search for identity.
“In its preliminary stage, the answer to a question emerges as a thumbnail drawing, which when transferred to the canvas becomes the blueprint for the work to be built upon. The work progresses in a succession of colour variations. I like to compare the process to stages in a person’s life from infancy to maturity. It is a lengthy procedure demanding patience and trust. The end result, which can never be foreseen, appearing as a miraculous sum total of the whole journey. “
Silvana Waniuk is the author of Beyond the Breakers a Subud Odyssey, available from Amazon. www.cargocollective.com/silvanawaniuk