Veronica Funk was born on June 25, 1966 in Winnipeg and raised in Leaf Rapids, northern Manitoba.
She studied Art & Design at Red Deer College in Alberta, apprenticed with potters, stone sculptors and painters in Manitoba and spent a year painting on a farm in Saskatchewan.
She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and currently resides near the Rocky Mountains in Airdrie, Alberta. She has been painting professionally since 1999. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and in the United States and is found in private and corporate collections around the world.
Her goal is to create a sanctuary, a quiet place of contemplation, an offer of an inviting place to be still. She combines simplicity, light and vibrant colour through the use of opaque and transparent acrylic glazes, drawing with her brush, slightly distorting and manipulating the subject to share the beauty of imperfection, creating soft, sculptural form. Her images are an endeavor to capture the essence of spiritual light that is found in the forests of Emily Carr or the flowers of Georgia O’Keeffe.
Growing up in northern Manitoba my entire world was influenced by the Cree culture in which I was immersed. As a young girl, on one of many trips up the Churchill River, I saw my first pictographs drawn on stone outcroppings high above the waterline, and yet so far down from the land that sat on top of it that I wondered how anyone could reach that space to draw in our time, never mind thousands of years ago. I was enamoured of the works of the Woodlands Artists and was exposed to my first exhibit of works by Benjamin Chee Chee at the Exhibition Centre.
With my classmates, I visited an archeological site near rapids on Churchill River, the ones after which my community, Leaf Rapids, was named. At seventeen my family moved to Alberta when the life of the local mine became tenuous and my heart was broken. I cried to return to the silence of the boreal forest of the north, to the endless and abundantly clean waters, and to the aurora borealis in all its glory. In 1988 I returned, with my now husband, to be married and though things had changed since I left because of the struggles of the mine and in turn, the struggles of the entire community, the land and its history remained. I spent hours in the Exhibition Centre, dreaming of the days I was taught to weave and to bead, and of the times I spent in the woods with my childhood friends. This place north of 56 where I learned to survive in the wilderness as part of my public education; where we came together to celebrate the Winter Carnival, racing in snowshoes, baking bannock, watching the dog sled races; where we were raised to nurture nature. I never wanted to leave.
And now, I have finally found a way to fill the hole left in my heart when I left the north. This work, each piece both a representation of and also physically a sacred vessel for me, is filled with the images, colours and symbols of my memory.
Vessel (ves’el) 1) a utensil for holding something, as a vase, bowl, pot, kettle, etc. 2) Bible a person thought of as being the receiver or repository of some spirit or influence 3) a boat or ship 4 a) a tube or duct containing or circulating body fluid b) a continuous, water-conducting tube (Websters).