Narratives | Silvana Waniuk

Silvana Narratives

October 7 – 25, 2020


The title sums up what I do since at heart I am a storyteller; and though the images are abstracted their stories are about tangible inner experiences.

It so happened that the majority of the work in this show relates to the Hebrew Bible, from Genesis to Psalms. When inspired by a Biblical text I do not wish to illustrate it. These verses have been with me for most of my life, and revisiting them in my old age I am naturally moved to delve below their familiarity to reach for deeper layers of meaning; eventually to express my new understanding visually.

Always I start with a thumbnail drawing, and since the process cannot be rushed, a drawing may wait for years before I approach it again.  Eventually, if chosen, it will become the ultimate blueprint for the painting. As for the painting process itself, it is the big, thrilling, journey into the unknown: I never know where it will lead me. Thus, my only compass is the drawing itself, which, I believe, contains in its bare, simple lines all the hidden answers. I work exclusively with heavy body acrylics and pallet knives. The work progresses in a succession of layers or variations, which add texture and depth, ultimately investing the image with new understanding and closure. I liken this slow build-up to stages in a person’s life from infancy to maturity. In any case, the end result remains an enigma – as it should – but hopefully an enigma to also involve you the spectator.


  • Often when working with a Biblical text I incorporate some of the words into the painting. Thus, keeping with my search for universality, I have chosen the archaic Hebrew script, which is virtually identical to the Phoenician alphabet, which is the origin of most of the western world alphabet.
  • The Hebrew word MAKOM means, a place, a space, also a place of worship; it is also one of the names of God.
  • ASHIRA means: I will sing. The word begins the Song of Praise of Moses and the Israelites after their delivery from the Egyptians.
  • AMAN means, the artist, the maker.
  • ACHSHAV means, Now!
  • NAFSHI YESHOVEV means, He revives my Soul.


Silvana was born in Germany and raised in Israel. She studied the violin and the classical guitar and has a degree in music education. she became committed to painting in the early Seventies when she joined the Spiritual Association of Subud. Silvana emigrated to Canada in 1977 where circumstances demanded a change of focus from music and painting to weaving. She returned to painting in 1986 and has been working and showing ever since.

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