Veronica Mockler

Spending Time With Nadia

Relational work in which the artist spends time with a women she does not know.

Nadia and the artist did not know one another when Mockler asked if she could take Nadia's portrait. Nadia was the concierge in Mockler's apartment building at the time. Nadia without any hesitation agreed and invited the artist into her home the following week. In this relational work, Mockler sees the series of photographs as a pretext for exchange - a pretext for Mockler (who was 21 years old at the time) to learn from a woman, mother, wife and immigrant. This need "to spend time with Nadia" is when Mockler began understanding how one-on-one interaction with people could be the primary material to work from.

Mockler and Nadia only met once. That afternoon, Mockler took photographs of Nadia in different rooms of her apartment. The artist met Nadia's husband and teenage son. The two women shared several cups of Turkish coffee while Nadia showed the artist pictures of her dearly missed family in Moldova. Nadia told the artist that a year after immigrating to Canada, she had to go back to Moldova because she had been suffering from depression caused by homesickness. When the artist left, Nadia insisted Mockler take a case of 12 juice pouches with her.

Later on, the artist took time to paint a portrait of Nadia, based on the photographs she had taken. Mockler lost contact with Nadia and never had the opportunity to give or even show her the painting.

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