Ildiko Nova was born in Hungary in 1966. She has been doing art since she was a child. Though she is mostly self-taught in art, she also took courses in watercolour at George Brown College in Toronto. Ildiko uses different media such as spontaneous marker drawings, illustrations and acrylic paintings, uses recycled materials. She explores the line between reality and dreaming and juxtaposes unusual elements.
Trained as a community worker, Ildiko is always looking for connections to communities. She has taught art to street people in Toronto, volunteered in different art organisations in Winnipeg.
Her interest as an activist includes human rights issues for underprivileged, marginalised communities and ethnic groups; she also would like to see more respect paid to women and children in our society. With past experiences as a Roma in Eastern Europe at the back of her mind, Ildiko has gratefully accepted invitations from Aboriginal classmates in Canada to learn about their cultures – and this new awareness also surfaces in her art.
Work and achievements:
2009 Toronto Dollar, Frankly Bob Award
2009 My Toronto, individual Photo Exhibition, Budapest Hungary
2010/11 Refugee Rights Day, Group Show, Toronto
2013 WRHA Crisis Response Centre, permanent installation, Winnipeg MB
2013 Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Annual Report cover, Winnipeg
2014 Art City Winnipeg, We Love Winnipeg community mural
2014/15 Urban Art Gallery, Downtown BIZ Winnipeg, Winning Installation
2016 Downtown BIZ Winnipeg, Winning Bicycle rack design
Child with Child
This piece represents the current situation that is an overwhelming problem in not only the Hungarian Roma but also in other marginalised groups as well – the issue of teenage pregnancies.
There are multiple factors that cause this problem such as the racism, xenophobia in the mainstream society and the lack of education and self-respect in the Roma communities. The school system tries to segregate those Roma children who are already vulnerable to function in society.
The problem within the Roma community is the normalised perception of early pregnancies. Girls often do not have a positive model that would teach them their rights and that non-consensual sexual contact is unacceptable and illegal. They do not have a word of their own to make decisions or have their own choices. All these babies are going to grow up without proper care, in poverty and in a perpetuating cycle of exclusion from a normal life.
These young teenagers need a new perspective that teaches them that education is the most important way to break out from the slums and poverty. They need to learn to prioritise values, to fight racism with education. They need to improve their own life first before giving birth to more disadvantaged children.