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Villia Jefremovas is exhibiting a selection of her Collagraph, Monoprint and Etchings inspired from her travels to Bhutan.
The work will be on display from September 11 to November 6.
Two dominant threads in my life inform my work: my experience of being an outsider in many worlds; and my love of process. My childhood as child of immigrants and in an immigrant neighbourhood made me feel like an outsider.
My work as an anthropologist requires me to see the world through an outsider’s eye, encountering peoples, cultures, and, landscapes as a naïve observer. I do not claim that I am ‘representing’ other cultures, peoples or landscapes; rather I am documenting my imperfect understanding as an outsider.
Printmaking allows me to engage with tools and materials in a visceral way. There is a surrender of total control over the process, because printmaking is an interaction between the artist, the materials and the technique. The techniques are partners in the transformation of materials into ideas and images to achieve the finished artwork.
This series of prints was inspired by my travels in Bhutan, which I have visited four times. I have been fascinated by how the sacred suffused everyday life. The color and pageantry of the mask festivals have inspired many of these prints.
I invite you to see Bhutan through my outsider’s eye.
Villia Jefremovas is a Toronto-born printmaker living in Ottawa and Cantley, who holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Toronto. She began studying printmaking part time through the general program at the Ottawa School of Art in 1993 and has done master classes with artists in Ottawa, Colombia, and the Philippines. She has exhibited in numerous juried shows and has also been part of two three women shows at Café by the Ruins DUA, and the Print Gallery at the BenCab Museum in Baguio City, Philippines, a two woman show in Ottawa at the Rockwell Gallery and a one woman show at Café by the Ruins DUA in 2019 in Baguio Philippines.
The plates for the Bhutanese masks were created with glue, sandpaper, and acrylic medium. These were then printed in a variety of techniques. The main technique is intaglio, in which the ink is forced into the grooves and the surfaces are wiped clean. Some were then rolled with a layer of color. In some, additional color was added with chine collé, in which plates are printed onto thin rice paper which is glued to the underlying paper. Many were printed a la poupee in which multiple colors are wiped on the same plate and then printed onto the paper. Multiple plates were used to create monoprints, on which I then printed different images.
The other images were etched and aquatinted on either zinc or copper, printed multiple times using multiple colors or a la poupee.