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A cyanotype photograph, in shades of deep, Prussian blue and white. The image depicts a two-doored wooden cabinet against a white wall. On top of the cabinet sits an antique brass lamp with a milk glass shade. There is an alcove in the wall above the cabinet; the five-sided recess, pointed at the top like the roof of a house, is empty.

Detail from Echo on the Landing, 2022. Cyanotype on cotton fabric, embroidery, cotton batting. Image courtesy of the artist.




ECHO ON THE LANDING


Sonya Filman


July 15th, – September 10th, 2022






Echo on the Landing proceeds from an effort to find possibility in the space of loss, and to conjure connection in the present. Gathering traces of treasured keepsakes, fragments of  family home, and slivers of a shifting landscape in a cyanotype quilt, Filman seeks to contend with the deaths of her grandparents.

Ahead of her grandfather’s passing, the artist photographed his home in Northern Ontario and the Great Lakes landscapes between her home and his. Compelled by a desire to hold time, to resist the slippage already underway, she combed these spaces in transition Vignettes of familiar thresholds made strange, devoid of presence and personal belongings, appear alongside views of sand and stone along the shoreline, forever shifting under the persistent motion of water.

But photographs are static, and forever tied to the past; on their own, they are insufficient to the active process of mourning. In Echo on the Landing, Filman seeks to move beyond static images as memory-keepers, toward a practice of being with memory that is more embodied,
tactile, and sensorial. She frames her photographs within larger cyanotypes, intertwining the with the gauzy, wavering shadows of her grandparents’ possessions, hovering between visibility and invisibility, presence and absence. Bringing these pieces together in the form of  quilt, Filman draws a common thread from a cherished past to the present, enacting a process of remembering that gives new form to that can never be truly lost.

A cyanotype photograph, in shades of deep, Prussian blue and white. The image is dark, with wisps of some gauzy material emerging from the blue. In the upper-right corner, there is a white ring with wavering, irregular edges; within the ring, the weave of the gauzy material is brighter, and more visible.

Sonya Filman, detail from Echo on the Landing, 2022. Cyanotype on cotton fabric. Courtesy the artist.




Bio /


Sonya Filman (she/her) is an emerging artist and cultural worker based in Tkaronto/Toronto. Tending towards analogue media, she embraces material sensitivities to touch, time, and light to engage in embodied ways of making and knowing. Her recent projects explore subjects of memory and loss, parapsychology, and attempt to bring the fleeting or intangible into a state of emergence.


Filman received an HBA in Art & Art History from the University of Toronto in 2014, and an MFA in Visual Arts from York University in 2018. She has worked with cultural organizations since 2014, including the Blackwood Gallery, C Magazine, Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, and served on the Board of Directors at Open Studio from 2016-2018. She is currently an administrator at Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art.







Background Image: Sonya Filman, detail from Echo on the Landing, 2022. Cyanotype on cotton fabric. Courtesy the artist.