The body of photographs which first drew audiences to Diana Thorneycroft’s work was a series she began in the early ’90s called “Touching the Self.” These black and white prints were performative self-portraits, the autobiography extending to include her family as significant players in her own story through the use of photo masks of their faces, and prosthetic props. Continuing this investigation produced a body of work titled “The Body, its Lesson and Camouflage,” images that confused issues of gender identification and which touched upon transgression and the limits of privacy. In 2001 Thorneycroft began building miniature dioramas to depict subjects or situations played against a backdrop of Canadiana, which she then photographed in high colour. This series, “Group of Seven Awkward Moments” is a lengthy series set on iconic Group of Seven paintings. Here she is questioning received ideas of national identity and patriotism, employing irony and humour as agents in her investigation.
Diana Thorneycroft was born in Claresholm, Alberta in 1956. She received her Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Manitoba in 1979 and her Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1980. She has exhibited various bodies of work in solo and group exhibitions in commercial and public galleries in Canada, the us and Europe as well as Moscow, Tokyo and Sydney. She has received numerous grants and awards from the Manitoba Arts Council and the Canada Council as well as a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre for the Arts.