We came across this at 1Love T.O. A riviting gallery exhibit featured at the Department of Canadian Heritage titled, “Missing Women”featuring paintings by Canadian artist Ilene Sova. The series consists of painted, portrait renditions of women that had been reported missing in Ontario from 1970 until 2000. Ilene performed extensive research through Canada Newstand database and OPP archives of the missing women, in an effort to get a sense of who they were as a person and to portray them not just as a fleeting face on the evening news, but as an image captured of a young, human being, taken away in the prime of their life.
“In terms of artistic relevance and innovation; the history of portrait painting is one in which the elite, the influential, the religious and the historically esteemed are who don the canvases of the portrait painter. Likewise; I aim to have my viewer interpret these missing women as monumental, relevant, and noteworthy. Through choosing these particular women as subjects and putting them on view for consideration; I aim to metaphorically shine a light on what is hidden or not openly spoken about.” -Ilene Sova
Ilene found herself upset with the sometimes discriminatory and selective process in which law enforcement and media use to cover cases of missing women in particular; cases featuring runaways, mentally ill, sex workers and women of colour receiving less exposure, if any at all. With this exhibit Ilene seeks not to produce art that is created for profit, but to create an open, public discussion about the issue of violence against women.
Elizabeth Marie Bain – Missing since June 19, 1990 from Scarborough.
To read about the women’s individual stories and view the portraits you can go to Sova’s website HERE.