Cornelia van Voorst is a visual artist and theopoetic practitioner based in Victoria, BC, Canada, on the traditional lands of the Lekwungen peoples. Her recent work explores the limitations of narratives that emphasise triumph.
Stories about success through victory have become inadequate in the face of a world shut down by pandemic. However those who experience disability, war, illness, prejudice, oppression, poverty, have different stories to tell- of endurance, persistence and compassion in the face of both personal and collective adversity. Images of roses are altered through the application of distress processes and many layers of ink to become a form of remembrance for stories of resilience and resistance. In all of her work, allusive, lyrical images hover between literal and metaphorical depiction and negotiate the space between lived experience and dominant narrative.
Living with a complex form of PTSD influences van Voorst’s engagement with intergenerational grief. With her ancestral roots in the Netherlands and Germany, being brought up in Australia, and now living in Canada, she is familiar with multiple points of view concerning WW2. Her work is an empathetic integration of the personal with the historical that resonates with our contemporary context.