Out of her huge front window Marianna Gartner sees the snow-covered Olympic mountains and the water of the Juan de Fuca Strait seperating Vancouver Island, where she now lives, from the mainland of British Columbia. But there is nothing in Gartnerīs work to suggest the Canadian Group of Seven, the early 20th century painters whose landscapes have inspired so many contemporary artists.
Born in Winnipeg and trained in Calgary, having lived and worked in Budapest and Berlin, she resists the magnificent tyranny of the natural world to focus her acute gaze on another type of landscape. Perhaps it is no accident that out of those same windows, just across the street, she can also see Victoriaīs historic Chinese cemetery. Although no longer in use, from its twin-tow-ered altar there occasionally rises smoke from a burning joss-stick honoring the dead. It is the social world and the cultural practices surrounding the body and its transformations that infuse Gartnerīs current artistic project and animation.