Visual artist Ildiko Nova lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada however was born in Hungary and is of Roma ethnicity, which is something Ildiko highlights in her work. Having lived as a refugee in Germany for 4 years it is clear that identity and community are two very important things in this artists life and art. Immigrating to Canada in 1992 this 48 year old has worked mainly as a community worker and apart from a course in watercolour painting at George Brown College in Toronto Ildiko is a self taught artist.
“As a Romani person, I feel the need to speak up for my ethnic group. I would like to see less suffering in the lives of children, women and the oppressed, marginalized ethnic groups.”
Exploring different types of media to Ildiko is all part of the artistic process, liking to work fast whilst exploring technique and style. Also to keep the creativity going Ildiko also sketches journey entries on a daily basis, which often leads to bigger paintings or other larger formats.
“I like to explore the line between reality and dreaming and juxtapose unusual subjects with conscious irony.”
“My art is idea oriented”
When asked who has inspired or influenced Ildiko in her art and creativity:
“My favourite artist is Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. I like how he depicted marginalized characters. I also like street art. It gives me an idea of how people feel in their environment.”
This months focus at Art Saves Lives International is WOMEN and was part of our March campaign “Celebration of Women” month, where we took International Women’s day which is on the 8th and made it a month long celebration and awareness project. Asking female artists all over the world from differing abilities and disciplines to submit work to be part of an artistic commentary on being a woman today. We had over 1700 submissions via email not to mention all the amazing social media submissions and we chose 45 artists to feature in this E-magazine and 45 artists to be featured on our ASLI BLOG
We chose Ildiko because her message is so inspiring and deals with undervalued and marginalized communities and is a passionate voice for the Roma people. For us this kind of effort to engage the world and educate them in the differing cultures and ethnicities which are stigmatised and discriminated against is exactly what we are here to help artists to do. We asked Ildiko some questions on women’s issues and her thoughts on them:
Do you feel women have to conform to social norms and stereotypes to be taken seriously?
“Yes, in many societies women are treated as second class citizens or not taken seriously. I’ve lost a few jobs myself for the sake of keeping male employees.”
Do you think that women and men are equal in today’s societies around the world?
“Women are not equal in today’s societies. It is almost impossible to juggle between raising children, taking care of families and extended families with elders and having jobs. Women often earn less than men. Rich societies create privilege based job policies where women (especially immigrant and non-white) work in precarious settings. I’ve been and under-employed for most of my Canadian job experience.”
What does feminism mean to you and do you consider yourself and your project to be feminist?
“Feminism means to me; a world where women are not subjected to domestic, racial, religious and gender based violence and acts of disrespect.”
What causes and world issues are you passionate about, campaign for, volunteer for?
“I am passionate about the under-represented communities, such as the homeless, the oppressed minority groups (Romani, Tibetan, Canadian First Nation – to name a few)”
- volunteering in the implementation of programming at Studio Central.
- collaborating with local business and organizations on community projects.
- mentoring and encouraging emerging artists challenging personal, social, political, and environmental concerns through the arts.
The reason that Art Saves Lives International exists is to show that art can be used to create change and engage, educate and express our world. One of our goals is to find artists such as Ildiko Nova and highlight their message through their art. Ildiko impressed us as her whole objective is giving a voice to the unheard. So we wanted to know:
What does the statement ART SAVES LIVES mean to you and has art in anyway “saved” your life in any way?
“One of my most rewarding jobs, was when I facilitated my art class in a Toronto homeless shelter. Residents enjoyed creating art to express themselves, to relax and to build self-confidence. I’ve finished a residency art program at Art Beat Studio in Winnipeg. This organization provides safe studio environment for people who struggle with mental health and related social problems. It gives a chance to re-connect to communities, to grow as an artist and to heal.”
What made you want to get involved with our non-profit ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL mission?
“Art Saves Lives International shares the values that are important to me, such as giving a voice to under-represented people. There is a tremendous number of “undiscovered” talents everywhere.”
How can your project be used to create change and is this something you want for your mission?
“I believe in the connection of art and community. Art can bring people together. People’s art reflects their feelings and furthermore it helps to understand their social problems. I’ve been involved and volunteered for non-profit art organizations and will do the same in the future.”
“I would like to stay connected to art communities and keep discovering different media.”
Find out more about Ildiko Nova:
Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=189019720&trk=hp-identity-photo