Tanya Slingsby is a Canadian visual artist creating abstract works that harness the fundamental power of colour, form, line, and surface to create a visceral reaction in the viewer. Born and raised in the untainted beauty of Salt Spring Island, she developed a keen fascination for the purity of open space and the way light shapes nature. Slingsby completed her Bachelor of Fine Art and Art History from the University of Victoria and earned a master’s degree in Aesthetics and the History of Art from Sussex University, UK. In her twenties, her academic connection to art acted as a barrier to practicing art. Her early efforts seemed too self-focused for her liking, and Slingsby stopped painting for several years. Her current body of work was initiated after her mother died from cancer and she began engaging with how to communicate the universal truths of life in a pure, plastic language.
In her present studio practice, Slingsby explores the tradition of art as a tool for revelation. Her paintings are intended to represent the sublime power of art as art – and abstract art as a means for communicating something essential about the human experience. Slingsby’s use of arcs, ellipses, and iconic forms recognize the enduring potential for sacred geometry to shift consciousness. Colour and chromatic purity are used to create a purposeful response. In her pigment emulsion series, a stratum of titanium white and resin layers are carefully built and then repeatedly sanded down by hand. Her process is slow and methodical. The pigmented forms are created organically, so their shape expands and crackles over time. For her Meridians series, bold lines and flat, jewel-toned colours create a visual space that is vibrant, kinetic, and enthralling.
Slingsby titles all of her work using words from foundational languages such as Sanskrit, Latin, and Arabic – the Indo-European mother tongues that speak to her interest in the universality of all human existence. They are also a note to the continuing allure of the feminine mystique.
Tanya Slingsby lives in Vancouver with her husband and son and maintains a full-time studio practice in the historic 1000 Parker Street Building. She is a philanthropist who regularly donates her work to charities supporting marginalized youth, the visual arts, advances in medical research, and patient care. Slingsby’s work is included in many private and corporate collections and has been exhibited in Canada, the US, and the UK.