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Tanya Thoma, Fine Arts Painter

About Tanya

As a mother and artist, I create artwork in solidarity with women to resist the forces in society that attempt to control and subjugate our bodies. The symbolic forms I am constructing relate to experiences from my own life and those of women I know. My work speaks to the agency women possess and must be encouraged to utilize. Dating back to the earliest written stories, women have been used in parables by various cultures and religions as representing nature, often in order to police female autonomy, sexuality, and reproduction. It is important to reappropriate these associations so they can act as affirmations of equality.

My work is in dialog with artists working in the pattern and decoration movement that emerged from the 1970s - specifically their recognition of the history of discrimination against traditionally female modes of production and labor. The materials and techniques I employ include wood panels, acrylics, metal leaf, interference and iridescence, glitter, ink, carving, engraving and layering. My artworks embody a delicate balance between minimalist openness and simple line drawings, with maximalist gaudy mediums and patterns. Textile and fiber techniques are also used to emphasize my admiration and respect of craft, for being as valid as any “high art” form. Although my works can exist in the gallery space, they are best suited to the varying lighting conditions commonly found in a more residential setting, countering the patriarchally constructed hierarchy ruling over “art” spaces.

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