Suzanne Paleczny

Home: Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
Title: Beauty Mask
Media: Oil on canvas / huile sur toile
Dimensions: 111.5 x 81.5 cm

This painting is a study of contrasts. On a visceral level, it is simply the contrast between the smooth skin of the young woman and the dry and flaking clay of the mask. In light of society’s current obsession with youth and beauty, it also represents the somewhat ironic contrast between the desired outcome of the mask (to make oneself beautiful) and the immediate effect, which is anything but beautiful. Perhaps the most important contrast is that the image serves to both stop and accelerate time. The tradition of the painted portrait is rooted in the desire to stop time and immortalize the subject; to not only reveal their identity but to preserve it, even after death. But as I made my model laugh, the clay cracked along the lines that will one day be the wrinkles in her face. In an instant we caught a glimpse of time passing, of years disappearing ahead of us. As such, it can be considered (as perhaps all portraits are) a ‘memento mori’…a reminder of our mortality.

2011 Honours Bachelor of Art from Trent University, with a major in Cultural Studies and a minor in Philosophy.

Include: the Portrait Fine Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt; Parry Sound Station Gallery; the Akin Gallery, Peterborough; the Temiskaming Art Gallery, Haileybury; and Rah Rah Gallery, Whitehorse. Up-coming: Arts Underground and Artists at Work galleries, Yukon.

Numerous juried group exhibitions over the last 20 years, including the Women Visual Artists Exhibition, Zimbabwe National Gallery; the International Art Symposium and Exhibition, Egypt; and Exquisite North collaborative mural, Yukon.

Several awards won such as the Women Visual Artists Exhibition in Zimbabwe (1996, 1997), the Northern Ontario Art Association (1993), and Trent University’s Annual Alumni House Student Art Show (2010).

Art instructor for the Yukon Art Society and member of the Yukon Artists @ Work Art Co-op.

Commissioned to paint the portrait of Mayor Sylvia Sutherland for Peterborough City Hall. I have works in public and private collections in Ontario, Egypt, the U.S., South Africa, the U.K. and Yukon, including the Yukon Permanent Art Collection.