Victoria Steblaj


Mixed Media, 2016

The place represented in this piece is my cottage in Bancroft, Ontario. This piece represents my relationship with the place, with aspects taken from the place itself. The main idea of this piece is to highlight the positive relationship between man and nature. I included the dark streaks on the outside of the box in order to symbolize something attempting to harm the environment within the box. The box itself and the structure inside represent the protection and conservation of wildlife. Also, I chose to focus on glass and plastic in order to portray the idea that nature is fragile.

I think of my cottage as a whimsical place, and this piece accentuates this atmosphere. I also wanted to create a darker and unnatural atmosphere, hence the use of the black smudges on the outside of the box, and the black roses. I chose to focus on this location because I love nature, and the cottage is one of my favourite places. This theme is personal to me as it depicts a large part of my life that has been spent in dedication to the outdoors. I was inspired to explore this theme because when most people think of man and nature, they see a negative correlation. Although this is true, the relationship can also be positive. This piece depicts nature that is flourishing and being protected because of man, and a beautiful (although unreal) scene is the result. An entirely new ecosystem has been created when man and nature interact in a positive way. I wanted this piece to represent what my cottage means to me by using pieces from the property itself, without actually using a distinct image or painting of my cottage.