“Self-Preservation” (installation view) by Danielle Krysa
Courtesy of the artist and Penticton Art Gallery


Danielle Krysa: Self-Preservation

at Penticton Art Gallery in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada
26 March-15 May 2022

“Self-Preservation” features a combination of sculptures and collages representing a health battle Danielle Krysa went through in June of 2020. She wrote, “I woke up in the hospital with a ten-inch incision across my belly. I’d never felt this empty—both physically and emotionally. Doctors have been removing ugly lumps and growths from my abdomen for years, but this time they took everything. While my uterus was no longer part of me, I was so grateful this malfunctioning organ worked long enough for me to become a mother. That said, I was now overcome with a huge sense of loss.”

“Self-Preservation” (installation view) by Danielle Krysa
Courtesy of the artist and Penticton Art Gallery

Instead of wallowing in this, Krysa chose to reimagine the bits and pieces of “medical waste” they’d taken from her body as beautiful, feminine objects that she could gather and preserve—as a way to take some power back, and to preserve her state of mind. The result: Specimen jars filled with everything from broken jewelry and fake flowers, to shattered ceramics and clay cigarettes. Broken but beautiful, treasures instead of trash.

Speaking to her collages titled “From the Ashes” Krysa wrote, “These collages on panel are a continuation from the ‘Self-Preservation’ sculptures, but they cast a wider net. While the specimen jars focus on my personal health, the collages are about not only myself, but so many other women who have overcome difficulties, started over, pulled themselves out of the dark, and risen from the ashes to begin again. Loss, grief, and abuse can try to hold us down, but women are TOUGH. We will always, always push through the muck, and continue to bloom.”

(text adapted from the gallery’s press materials)


Penticton Art Gallery
199 Marina Way
Penticton, British Columbia V2A 1H5 Canada
(250) 493-2928

Tuesday-Friday, 10AM-5PM
Saturday, 11AM-4PM