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Get to know Varvara Nedilska, 2020 Winner of Best of Student

January 19, 2021

Varvara Nedilska is a Ukrainian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist and a 2020 graduate of the OCADU Illustration program.


Sleepover, Varvara Nedilska, watercolour, gouache, ink, 2019

Varvara Nedilska’s adept use of ink, watercolour and gouache is truly a delight to behold. Her blending of folk art aesthetics and dystopian subject matter create surreal dreamscapes, and highlight the absurdity of our daily lives in ways that are both ominous and hopeful... Nedilska’s illustrations poetically speak to our present anxieties while envisioning a more hopeful future.

– Justine Kohleal, Assistant Curator of Education & Public Programs at The Power Plant Contemporary Gallery, Judge of Best of Student

Orchid Collection, Varvara Nedilska, watercolour, gouache, coloured pencil, 2020

Varvara's work in her own words...

My practice focuses mainly around narrative illustration, although recently I have been branching out into printmaking & other media. I work primarily in analogue media (most often inks, watercolours) and some of my biggest inspirations are medieval and surrealist art, folk/outsider art and the natural world. Some themes important to my work are the dichotomy of wildness/tameness, beliefs/rituals, and the ways in which history repeats itself.

On winning this year...

Winning the TOAF Best of Student Award was a wonderful confidence booster and gave me a lot of hope going into my artistic career. I’m especially thankful for the opportunity to have a solo show at Artscape Youngplace, as I have long dreamed of having my own gallery show. The COVID pandemic deprived me of the opportunity to exhibit my undergraduate thesis at OCAD’s annual GradEx. This award and the experience of participating in TOAF have made me feel recognized and given me something to look forward to and work toward in the future.

– Varvara Nedilska

Visit her TOAF artist page

Follow her on Instagram: @varvaranedilska

Artworks still available


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