For as long as I can remember, people – their stories, their relationships, their travels, those well-worn paths through pain and joy – have fascinated me. Each tale so different from the other, each voice unique, the life of any given person unfolds with revelations enough to astound any philosopher seeking to make sense of human experience.
From an early age, as with many children, visual expression became as natural as breathing and hours were spent drawing whenever and wherever I could – on walls, in the sand, between the pages of old, musty books discovered in the attic – and yes, on clean white sheets of paper too. The subjects of these early drawings were most often people: portraits or narratives which revolved around the lives of girls, adventure stories which led my heroines through battles with nature, into the depths of jungles, over deserts, across seas …encountering both monsters and princes along the way. Imaginary life was rich and the ups and downs were wonderfully exciting and real. Drawing was a way of making them so.
And in truth, after all these years, things haven’t really changed that much.
The narrative element still plays a key role in much of my work and although the jungles, deserts and seas exist quietly beneath the surface, the adventures have shifted with a wealth of experience in having travelled the worn path threadbare. My work is about dichotomies. The intellect battles with the heart, for instance, yet, they are able to dance, interact, and influence each other – they are engaged in a disparate (and desperate) tango, stepping on each other’s feet – sometimes arguing loudly, and at other times, steaming in silence. Exploring this interplay is to a great degree what feeds my work.
Based in Kingston, ON, Winik has dedicated herself to painting full time since 1996. Four to six months a year she has worked in Amsterdam or Spain, mostly the latter, and also Mexico. During these periods she has valued the opportunity to work intensely and to interact with colleagues and others who, with their lives, their perspectives and integrity, have often inspired the direction of her work.