Near Vitebsk, 1944 (Ground)
Graphite on gessoed aluminum
8 x 10 inches
Sasha Opeiko’s practice varies between painting, drawing, media, and installation. She holds a BFA from University of Windsor, an MFA from University of Victoria, and she is currently enrolled in the Phd in Art and Visual Culture program at Western University. She has exhibited regionally and internationally, including a solo exhibition “217” at the Art Gallery of Peterborough (2020). She received several grants, including Canada Council for the Arts Project Grant (2015) and most recently Ontario Arts Council’s Visual Artists Creation Projects Grant (2019). Her recent projects focus on visual and material residues of culture specific to post-Soviet nostalgia.
Near Vitebsk, 1944 (Ground) is from a series of works titled when people came out of the forest there was nothing, informed by an acquired awareness of WWII as an indirect afterimage amassed from fiction and visual culture. These works are based on selections of landscape backgrounds from found photographic documentation of the Second World War in Belarus. They are close studies of low-resolution, black and white files, translated into an accumulation of marks, surface, and atmosphere. The found images document instances of historical events, where their landscape backgrounds were not intended to be the focus. The landscapes fixate on a persistent impression of a mood more so than a tangible, lived experience. This work is a continuation of my ongoing interest in overlapping themes of melancholy, materiality, and tensions between content, image, and object.