Marina Szijarto – Creative Alchemist

Contemporary Arts, Traditional and Ancestral Crafts, Community Ritualist and Shrine Maker. Theatre and Cultural Festivals creator & designer.

Ancestral Lineage Repair practitioner ( certification with Dr Daniel Foor / Ancestral Medicine).

Artist in Residence at Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver B.C. Canada

Marina Szijarto BFA Hons

I am a professional visual artist, animist shrine maker and ritualist with a diverse and eclectic arts practice working within the mediums of community-engaged rites and celebrations, site-specific installations, theatre/ performance and ritual crafts.

Honouring our Dead

For almost 3 decades I have been exploring the artist’s role in rites of passage, specifically death, funerals, and mourning,  through Community engaged, site-specific installations and events, including creating shrines to honour the dead, and as Artist in Resident at Mountain View Cemetery, BC Canada, (with Paula Jardine). We have been creating ‘A Night for All Souls’ an annual tradition since 2004.

In 2020 as a response to the global pandemic and huge losses worldwide, I created Loving Memory Shrines, a hands-on community engagement project for the public to download a free shrine making project to honour our beloved dead during difficult times.

As a certified Ancestral Lineage Repair practitioner (Ancestral Medicine ) I offer a practical and safe system of ancestral and cultural healing for both groups and individuals.

Creative Background

My background includes fine arts (a BA Hons. degree in embroidery, always handy ;), ancient, traditional and conceptual craft techniques and the philosophy of creativity, culture and making.  Additionally I have studied plant spirit medicine, herbalism and Ancestral Lineage healing, as well as Pagan, Vedic, Buddhist, Norse animist and Nepalese shamanic ritual technologies.

This knowledge and wisdom is integrated into my practice both with my ancestors and facilitating others in Ancestral Lineage Healing – it is the Medicine of the Ancestors, a pragmatic and expansive way of integrating the healing and creative processes, both personally and culturally.

I am dedicated to embodying the creative alchemy of “my hands are their hands, their hands are my hands”, with my ancestors of blood and vocation – to inspire others to explore the role of sacred creativity, in rites of passage, ancestral reverence rituals, lineage healing and cultural repair. This focus is intended for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Kith and Kin 

Acknowledging these lands

I am a migrant settler on the unceded Coast Salish lands of the  xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people, now know as Richmond (Vancouver), B.C. Canada. I give acknowledgement and gratitude to the peoples and Ancestors of these lands.

My Kin folks

I grew up in a medieval cottage in the ancestral lands of my people in rural Britain (near Malvern, Herefordshire), embedded in ancient traditions, folklore and history, before moving to Vancouver’s ‘Chinatown’ and the notorious DTES ( Downtown Eastside). I now live in a floating converted net shed in a ‘old’ Finnish fishing Village, across the road from mega mansions built overtop of prime delta soil farmland.

My (maternal) ancestors are of the Dobunni Celtic tribe, the Iberian peninsular and North Africa, and other parts of Fennoscandinavia. My (paternal) ancestors migrated from the Caucasus mountains ( Russia/ Georgia) to Hungary and Italy, and parts of Germanic Nordic lands. I also have DNA from north and south India, so the family mythology of Romany blood might be true, and the lifelong pull of nomadic living in my bones may also be ancestral in nature.

I walk between the cultures of Britain /Europe and Canada’s West Coast, the ‘old world and new world’, both at home and ‘from away’ in both.

Ancestoral Lineage Healing

As a working artist, I have found that learning the traditional arts, ancient crafts, ritual and medicine making techniques of my ancestors, not only artistically and personally rewarding but also connects me directly and viscerally with both the plants, animal, water, stone elemental peoples and the human/ancestral lineages down through time …my hands are their hands, their hands are mine. They live through and with me.

Through embodied practices in sacred arts & craft traditions, Ancestral Lineage Repair work, direct spirit connection and mediumship can come many insights, deeper connections to place/ self and non human family. It brings depth understandings and healing’s into the larger cultural and political context – it is the work of art/spirit for personal, cultural, environmental and social change.

I look forward to connecting more with you, please be in touch here for:

Ancestral Lineage Repair sessions, Creative Consultations, experiential art/craft based workshops or Site specific collaborations with landscapes, communities and seasons.