Artist interview: Dagmara Genda

I always like artist interviews. Knowing the people behind the art helps to get a better understanding of their work. Mind you, until I came across this video by artist/photographer Cory Schewaga I had never heard of Polish-Canadian artist Dagmara Genda but she is definitely a great artist who has lived an interesting life and accomplished a great deal:

“Dagmara Genda studied visual art at the University of Manitoba and the University of Western Ontario, as well as cultural studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. She currently lives in Saskatoon where she works as a practicing artist and currently serves as the Director of AKA Gallery, Saskatoon’s only non-media specific artist-run centre.

Genda’s work is informed by her somewhat nomadic lifestyle which started with her early childhood emigration from Poland in 1985. Her frequent moves took herto various remote locations including seven years in Thunder Bay and a one-year stint in Anchorage, Alaska. Her work builds on this trajectory to explore collective identity—specifically national identity—and how it is individually lived and interpreted. She develops these ideas through drawing and installation. Her drawings are made by layering white paint and tracing out its contours in a process that can take several months. Her installations are sourced from her drawings and are most often made from hand-cut vinyl. She’s shown these works internationally and currently has one permanent and one long term installation up in New York City.

Genda has shown across Canada and most recently she’s exhibited in the US where she won 3rd place in the Durham Art Guild’s 56 Annual Juried Exhibition curated by Sarah Anne Johnson. She is also the 2011 grand prize winner of 3rd Ward’s Open Call—an international art competition coming out of Brooklyn, NY whose prize includes a solo show and a cash grant. In Canada, she has been the recipient of numerous awards including Saskatchewan Arts Board Grants, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibitions 2009’s Best of Drawing Award and various graduate scholarships.”