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Through my art practice I continuously explore socially and politically relevant subjects, in particular notions of home, identity, exile and borders. As a Yugoslav-born artist who immigrated to Canada in the late 1980s, I know these subjects
well, and my personal experience of displacement underscores a deeply felt interdisciplinary body of work that  interconnects various disciplines including drawing, painting, sculpture, performance, video, photography, bookworks  and installation. A notion of longing for home and the negotiation of its understanding are both embedded in response to the disintegration of my home country of the former socialist Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

In my work I constantly bring to the forefront my own position on the borders of identity in its multiple formations (social, political, personal, cultural). My work often reflects the multifaceted nature of my diasporic existence; it is interdisciplinary, performative, and often transitory in form and content. My own body and my personal experiences are always the point of departure for an aesthetics which operates intuitively, and the work that explores the possibility of moving beyond barriers imposed by spaces, institutions, ideologies, or the body’s own limitations.

As an artist, I have been travelling extensively, doing residencies in a variety of places wherein I continue to research cultures, practices, and ways of making community. My exploration of identity and home is wrapped up in my exploration
of what it means to be an artist in the ever-shifting circumstances, and how material practices can make sense of the world we live in. My work addresses migration, borders, and settlement; but also speaks from a place of feminist practices and motherhood; it is about displacement, adaptation, risk and possibility.


Vessna Perunovich is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist whose work embraces performance, video, sculpture, painting and drawing. She works with issues around home, displacement, the notions of mobility and boundaries. Born and raised in Former Yugoslavia, she acquired both her BFA and MFA at the faculty of Fine art in Belgrade, Former Yugoslavia, and now-days Serbia. Perunovich moved to Toronto, Canada in the late 1980s. She lives and works between Toronto Canada and Belgrade Serbia.

Perunovich has exhibited her work extensively, both in Canada and internationally. Her most recent project, a solo retrospective exhibition Home Paradigm: A New Place of Belonging  was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade Serbia in the spring of 2023. Her other recent solo shows include: Here. In Absence, University of Waterloo Art Gallery (2022); Home Fragments, La Chambre Blanche, Quebec City, Canada; Fragments of a Whole, Contemporary Art gallery Pančevo and Contemporary Art gallery Zrenjanin, Serbia (2021); Shifting Shelter at Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary, Canada (2019); Border Stitching at the Oboro, Montreal, Quebec (2015). Line Rituals & Radical Knitting at the Art gallery of Guelph and Neither Here Nor There at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa (2013). Her work was part of the international group projects: UNTITLED: Sculpture After Sculpture, Cazarma U, Temisoara, Romania (2023); Imperfect World, Salamander Gallery, Miami USA (2022); So-Called Reality, Risk Change Project, National gallery of Montenegro (2020); Ad Infinitum exhibition, part of 13th Havana Biennial in Cuba (2019); Bedlam & Balance at the ArtYard, Frenchtown New Jersey, USA (2016); a performance group project Transparent Travel at A.J. Wallace Gallery in New York (2015); Cargo East - a survey of contemporary Serbian art the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung City, Taiwan, Republic of China (2014) and Blood at the Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava Slovakia (2013).


Perunovich has exhibited at International biennials in Cuba, Albania, England, Venice, Portugal, Yugoslavia, and Greece and attended residencies in Berlin (Germany), Banff and Quebec City (Canada), Bursa and Istanbul (Turkey), New York (USA) Beijing (China), and Zejtun (Malta). Her survey exhibitions Borderless and Emblems of the Enigma toured art galleries and museums across Canada and in Europe. Exhibiting venues in Europe include Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Museum of Contemporary Art Republic of Srpska, Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Novi Sad, and Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Serbia. In Canada Perunovich has shown her work at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Cambridge Galleries, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Peterborough, Kelowna Art Gallery, Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery, The Canadian Textile Museum, A Space, VU Centre, Tom Thomson Gallery, Occurrence, La Chambre Blanche and others.

Vessna Perunovich is a recipient of Chalmers Fellowship Grant (2019) and Chalmers Development Grant (2011) as well as T.F.V.A. (Toronto Friends of Visual Arts) award (2005). She has been awarded numerous Canada Council for the Arts Grants, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council Grants; a two- year project Grant-Explore & Create from the Canada Council being one of the most recent ones. Her works are included in private and public collections such as the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Art Gallery of Guelph in Canada, US Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia (Art in Embassies Collection), The Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, The Museum of Victims of Genocide, The Museum
of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, Serbia, Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Serbia, Contemporary Museum of Art Republic of Srpska, Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Museum of Contemporary Art V.N. de Cerveira Portugal.


Perunovich's work has been published in three comprehensive monographs: Home Paradigm: A New Place of Belonging, 2023 (148 pages, ISBN 978-86-7101-395-6); (W)hole, 2004 (124 pages, ISBN 0-973585-0-7) and Emblems of the Enigma, 2008 (214 pages, ISBN 978-0-9735085-0-5).


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