Kamloops Art Gallery | Darlene Kalynka
Darlene Kalynka is a Kamloops-based artist working as an instructor in the Faculty of Visual Arts at Thompson Rivers University. In this new body of work, Four Oldest Daughters, Kalynka reflects on family roles, labour and sacrifice across three generations of her family in Ukraine and Canada.
Kalynka works with the etching process, using large copper plates to depict life-sized scythes as stand-ins for each of the oldest daughters in three generations of her family. The scythe is an implement of labour used by both Kalynka’s grandmothers on farms in their home country of Ukraine and in northern Saskatchewan, where her family settled. As the eldest children, each woman in the family was expected to make sacrifices in order to take care of the younger siblings and to take responsibility for chores on the family farm. Education was sometimes foregone so these women could contribute to the family and their way of life.
Featuring a key symbol of this experience, Kaylnka’s project is intended as a celebration, acknowledging the sacrifices of these women and emphasizing the connection that runs through the three generations.