Landscape with a Horse on Bow River

In 2011, Velkova participated in a Banff artist residency titled The Soiree Retreat – A bit of a Chekhovian situation, led by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson. The Soiree Retreat unpacked Situationist ideologies, focusing on performance and spectacles imbued with romanticism, melodrama and irony. During her participation in the Banff residency, she produced the two photographic works, Landscape with a Horse at Bow River, and Lake Louise Scene. The Disneyfied character Velkova portrays in the photographs transcends any particular identity, and similar to the Situationists’ ideologies, her images blur the line of ‘having’ versus ‘appearing to have.’

In Landscape with a Horse at Bow River, the already exquisite landscape is further exaggerated and becomes almost absurdly idyllic. Velkova posits, “It originally began with looking at Banff as a symbol of the Canadian landscape and how this perception has been constructed through the countless souvenir objects found in the tourist city itself.”