“Drawing reference from vintage silent film, I created a storyboard of emotions to illustrate the lost language of facial expression during the rise of COVID-19. The pandemic has been incredibly impactful in how it’s changed the way society communicates with one another, relying solely on words rather than facial expressions. By contrast, silent films depend on expression to convey their message. This reversal of situations led me to create a historic, timeless statement, as did Canadian artist Joyce Weiland and her O Canada lithograph from 1970. My piece unravels like a giant filmstrip, with each slide portraying my masked self, holding a sign with a mouth cut out expressing a different emotion. Between each photo, subtitles aid viewers in understanding the emotions I was trying to express. Inspired by Weiland’s visuals of “mouth art,” I aimed to capture the concept of a silent but universal message.”
—Tatyanna Wilke (Grade 12, Arts Umbrella, Vancouver, British Columbia)
Critically examining issues related to the environment, war, nationalism, and women’s rights across a number of media including painting and experimental film, Joyce Wieland (1930–1998) was an influential figure within contemporary Canadian art.