In Diyan Achjadi’s work, she looks at representations of militarism and violence in children’s literature, toys and news media. Starting a web project in 2002 entitled Once Upon A Time through to a project called See Girl, the works use images of little girls navigating within candy-pink landscapes that are punctuated with symbols suggestive of apocalyptic doom – gas masks, rifles and fluffy mushroom clouds. During her Visiting Artist residency at Open Studio, she created a large-scale, screenprinted wallpaper project with a continued apocalyptic theme.
The Visiting Artist Program at Open Studio is unique in Canada – some places provide access to printmaking facilities without necessarily also providing the technical assistance, expertise, exhibition opportunity, and publication. The combination of all these things is crucial, as it allows one to develop the work with a specific professional and spatial context in mind.
Through the exhibition, artist talk, and publication, the Program also gave me the opportunity to present my work to a new audience, crucial to the ongoing development of any artist. Additionally, some of the prints completed at this residency have now been exhibited in Vancouver, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Since my time at Open Studio, I have completed a resi- dency at the Banff Centre, working primarily in silkscreen on a new body of work that continues some of the ideas that I touched upon [at Open Studio]. – Diyan Achjadi, Visiting Artist 2007