Marina DiMaio

Inner Landscapes V

My current creative practice takes an interdisciplinary approach to an exploration of spirituality and immersive space. My practice is in many ways inward-looking, imaging worlds that are not absolutely apparent, and a reality that is not only visual in nature.

“Inner Landscapes V” is a part of an ongoing body of work made up of interdisciplinary, multi-sensual pieces. The earliest manifestations of “Inner Landscapes” were variations of encaustic painting and sculpture, imagining essences of landscape and flowing out of an extensive contemplation of perceived inner psychological, and spiritual landscapes as sacred spaces. [1] “Inner Landscapes V” differs in the sense that it utilizes the realms of video and sound in order to specifically engage with duration and time, both fundamental characteristics of mediation and other contemplative practices. “Inner Landscapes V” is intended to be a form of contemplative cinema. It creates an immersive space void of defined narrative, and unapologetically indulges in multi-sensual experience that places the viewer at the center of the piece. This iteration of “Inner Landscapes” considers slowness in terms of mental stillness, a viable concept with increasing scientific research suggesting that slowness in these terms contributes to physical and mental healing. [2] However, this fifth articulation of “Inner Landscapes” also considers questions of slowness in light of a privileged position. Part of the art historical research that frames this work studied the role of small triptychs and private altarpieces which were used for personal meditation, within the broader canon of western art. These individual altarpieces were tools for slowness that were often only afforded by the upper-class. So, slowness even in terms of contemplative practice – which is arguably a physical, mental, and spiritual necessity – still plays into this discussion of slowness as fundamentally tied to a position of privilege, perhaps even in terms of a broader ongoing discussion of the commercial world of visual art and economic privilege.

These corresponding threads of inquiry inform my creative practice and collaborate to create multi-faceted environments which suggest both external and internal landscapes. These alternate realities ask viewers of my work to slow down and escape from the high-paced reality of contemporary daily life, to perceive themselves perceiving, and to maintain an original sense of awe in an inner private discovery.

[1] Kane, Paul. “Inner Landscapes as Sacred Landscapes.” The Kenyon Review 25 (2003): 207-223. URL:

[2] “The Connection: Mind Your Body.” Directed by Harvey, Shannon and Kanopy (Firm). San Francisco, California, USAL Kanopy Streaming, 2015.


Marina DiMaio is a Canadian contemporary visual artist. She holds a BFA with a Studio Concentration from the University of Calgary, and an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of Victoria. Her creative practice incorporates installation, weaving, painting, drawing, video, sound, and scent in an interdisciplinary approach to an exploration of spirituality and immersive space.

DiMaio has received numerous scholarships and awards for her creative research, including a 2016 University of Calgary PURE award for undergraduate summer research, the 2016 University of Calgary Silver Medallion in Art, and a 2017 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. DiMaio was selected by artsPlace Canmore as the 2016 RISE emerging artist, which precipitated her solo exhibition, Horizon. The Port Moody Arts Centre awarded her the 2017 Kwi Am Choi Exhibition Scholarship, which made possible her solo exhibition, From Caspar to James: An Etched Presence. She has exhibited in numerous additional solo and group exhibitions in Alberta and British Columbia, and her work is held in the collections of the Nickle Galleries and the Glenbow Museum.

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