Diana Thorneycroft

Diana Thorneycroft

Canada 1956

Installation, Photography, Drawing


Diana Thorneycroft
Diana Thorneycroft
October 1, 2015
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Diana Thorneycroft is a Canadian artist who is using photography and drawing to explore the darker side of supposedly innocent or benign objects like dolls, toys and cartoon characters.

Diana Thorneycroft was born in Winnipeg and she received a BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1979 and her MA from the University of Wisconsin in 1980. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, in such places as San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography or the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris.

Thorneycroft’s older series are created of close-up photographs of dolls’ mouths and pencil drawings of Disney characters in dangerous and violent situations. She also used to produce rather provocative and murderous self-portraits.

Thorneycroft’s other notorious work is titled Group of Seven Awkward Moments, depicting plastic figures in dramatic but almost funny situations; created in front of reproductions of works by Tom Thomson, Emily Carr and the Group of Seven. Those were used as backdrops to dioramas that Thorneycroft constructed and then photographed. Group of Seven Awkward Moments exhibition was listed as one of Canadian Art Magazine’s Top Ten best exhibitions of 2008.

Diana Thorneycroft has exhibited various bodies of work across Canada, the United States and Europe, as well as in Moscow, Tokyo and Sydney… She received many awards and grants, such as Assistance to Visual Arts Long-term Grant from the Canada Council, several Senior Arts Grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and a Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her work has been presented through a radio documentaries and a CBC national documentary for television and has been included in the 2002 released Phaidon Press publication Blink showing the work of 100 rising stars in photography.

The artist is represented by Fabien Castanier Gallery.

Diana Thorneycroft lives and works in Winnipeg, Canada.

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016Black ForestThe Tom Thomson Memorial Gallery, Owen Sound, OntarioSolo
2013/14Canadians and Americans (best friends forever…its' complicated)Art Mûr, MontrealSolo
2013/14Group of Seven Awkward MomentsThe Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste. Marie, OntarioSolo
2011/13A People’s HistoryArt Mûr, Montreal, Quebec; Art Gallery of Regina, Regina, SaskatchewanSolo
2011Diana Thorneycroft’s Extraordinary StoriesCaustic Landscapes of Canadian ImaginarySolo
2010/11Diana Thorneycroft, Canada, Myth and HistoryThe Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, ManitobaSolo
2010Diana Thorneycroft’s Canadian Moments, Awkward and AtrociouCarleton University Gallery, Ottawa, OntarioSolo
2009The Canadian Martyrdom SeriesOttawa School of Art Gallery, Ottawa, OntarioSolo
2009Diana Thorneycroft, Canada, Myth and HistoryMcMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, OntarioSolo
2009Group of Seven Awkward MomentsSkew Gallery, Calgary, AlbertSolo
2006There Must be 50 Ways to Kill Your LoverG+ Gallery, Toronto, OntarioSolo
2005/06The Canadiana Martyrdom SeriesSkew Gallery, Calgary, AlbertaSolo
2004/06The Doll Mouth SeriesArt Mûr, Montreal, QuebecSolo
2004/03Martyrs MurderJustina Barnicke Gallery, University of TorontoSolo
2002Still life, stilled livesLee, Kasing Gallery, Toronto, OntarioSolo
1999/2002Diana Thorneycroft, The Body, its lesson and camouflageMedicine Hat Museum & Art GallerySolo
2001Re/MonstranceSt. Norbert Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Douglas Udell Gallery, Edmonton, AlbertaSolo
2000Representation, Presentation, UnpresentableThe Alternator Gallery, Kelowna, British ColumbiaSolo
1999MonstranceSt. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, ManitobaSolo
1998Patient PrisonerLeo Kamen Gallery, Toronto, OntarioSolo
1998/96On the Skin of a DollThe Small Gallery, Harvard University, BostonSolo
1997SlytodGallery One One One, Winnipeg, ManitobaSolo
1994/96A slow rememberingRosizo, Ministry of Culture of the Russian FederationSolo
1991/93TOUCHING, THE SELFDefinitely Superior Art GallerySolo