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Carol Wainio, 2014 Canada Council laureate – a film by Julie Perron

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Published on Mar 4, 2014

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In this video Carol Wainio discusses her artistic practice.

Carol Wainio is a 2014 winner of the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

The Canada Council for the Arts is a federal, arm's-length Crown corporation created by an Act of Parliament in 1957 (Canada Council for the Arts Act) "to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts."

For more information, visit: ggavma.canadacouncil.ca
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Directed by Julie Perron
Presentation of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Independent Media Arts Alliance

For more information, visit: ggavma.canadacouncil.ca
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Carol Waino -- Transcript

There it is. I couldn't find it when I was looking for it.
My parents were immigrants from Finland. My father had a very hard and dramatic life story. He was interested in art, but never had the chance to practice it.
I'm sure though that he is one of the reasons that I started to paint. We used to paint together. And he bought me my first materials, and showed me how to do things. He was interested in all kinds of art and used to say to me: "Art is for people who think."
That's probably one reason my work has always something to do with ideas, with history, with narrative, and processes.
Even though my work is very much centered in the practice of painting, it is not about painting.
The interest in the book began with my own children, and the experience of reading to them. Both the fairy tales and the act of repetitive reading brought me back to an earlier interest in history understood in the sense of mentalités or modes of experiences of earlier époques.
A lot of the paintings draw together diverse references gathered in this kind of research in historical illustrations or children's drawings, investigating and restaging past visual narratives in contemporary situations.
I explore some of these figures to question a relationship to the environment and the future. These days, the work is a lot about concerns for the future and about loss.
I don't know if painting is important in the grand scheme of things today. I know it's been important for me. There's something about starting with some pigment and a completely blank surface, something about making something, stepping back, looking at it and saying: "Is this how thing are made?"
The result might not be an answer. But sometimes, if you're lucky, it can be a big or a beautiful question.
Ok, I'm going to leave it for now. That's ok.

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