Anima Exhibition | May 1st- June 1st 2019
Simone Zewnik (DE) · Parul Modha (DK) · Eeva Honkanen (FI) · Henry Stöcker (DE) · Michael Kain (DE)
We welcome you to ANIMA, a small material world brought to life by a carefully chosen collection of artworks. Despite different background, the five artists in this exhibit share the same intention: to breathe life into inanimate elements.
These visual artworks make the transformation from a confused disarray of material to soulful entities that transcend the psyche of the viewer, who is invited to reflect upon the artist’s perspective of the world and mankind.
The exposed pieces identify with the concept of anima which, according to psychological studies, refers to the subconscious side of man.
The ideas of chaos and entropy, associated with the Big Bang phenomenon, are applied to the studio of a craftsman. Amongst the tools and utensils – hammer and pike, brush and pencil, metal and paint, concrete and graphite – anarchy rules. Until, in an almost God-like manner, inspiration ensues and there is a glimpse of newly created life.
In this way, we consider the artist a demiurge, as the classical Greek philosopher, Plato, defines in his work as the one entity who fashions and shapes the material world. Our five artists take on this role, each of them in their own unique way: Zewnick (DE), with her pigskin humanoid sculptures, questions the eventual soul beyond flesh; Honkanen (FI) animates her monochrome artworks with fantastic and mythical elements; Modha (DK), with her embroideries and paintings, seeks her misplaced origin using everyday objects to piece together her early memories; Ströcker (DE) plays with abstract molecules and primordial structures in his sculptures, only to describe the accidents of life in a whimsical way; Kain’s (DE) colourful brush strokes in his paintings generate vivid texture, almost as nature does when Springtime approaches.
Transcending the personal psyche and reflecting on the true inner self, all of them conceive life from simple materials and portray the soul in all beings, whether animate or inanimate.
There is something very intimate about the artworks by the Denmark-based artist, Parul Modha. Wrinkles and buttons embroidered on a huge cloth, along with maps collaged on fingernails, link the audience with their own quotidianity. They evoke a feeling we have all experienced, when recalling a cozy afternoon in Fall spent in the family house. Modha’s parents of Indian origin were exiled from Uganda when she was only three years old and, later on, the family moved to the United Kingdom. Being forced to constantly move around inevitably left a mark on her persona and on her artwork. The theme of nostalgia, along with the recollection of childhood memories in her drawings and sculptures, allows the viewer to get in touch with their own roots and origin.
German artist Henry Stöcker, is a sculptural artist. His studies in Biology and a fascination for sculpture play an integral role in his artistic practice, resulting in a body of work that holds a dialogue between science and art. Stöcker’s sculptures made from metal, plaster, concrete, wax, and wire reflect his interest in shaping the imagination and expectation with different materials. In some of his metal sculptures, relief points formed from the heat when welding the parts together are defining not only the surface of the object but also its character. Through playful and tridimensional forms, he invites the viewer to explore, interact and discover something recognizable through their own emotional response, interpretation and experience. This leads to a blur in the line between representation and the abstract, highlighting, with a subtle sense of humour, the interrelations of the organic form and artistic expression. Particularly in his plaster sculptures, the viewer recognizes a sense of fragility, as if they conceal a broken limb.
German artist, Simone Zewnik, focuses her sculptures on the portrayal of human figures, using pigskin as part of her statement. The Latin titles given to her works address an everlasting characteristic, one that aims to explore the human condition and essence. The fragments of skin and cloth stretched upon her sculptures leave place for reflection. The audience is invited to explore their subconscious, to question the emotions and compassion that take place there. The way the patterns are roughly sewn with either red or white twine makes the viewer question the irrationality of mankind. We are challenged to look at Simone’s creatures, portrayed wearing casual clothes or posing in groups as if for a family portrait, and wonder what the real differences are between us and them.
German abstract painter, Michael Kain, comes from a traditional, academic education focused on figurative art. Along with other artists, Kain broke out of this rigid framework to explore alternative concepts and expressions. He started experimenting with abstraction and color. In his oil paintings, Kain uses a range of colors in order to transfer his abstract themes into a colorful explosion on the canvas. He creates works that are in-keeping with modernist values of pure painting, where there is an honesty in the relationship between the paint and the canvas and no ‘illusory’ storytelling through recognisable figures. His method is based on the impasto technique, which consists of applications of large quantities of paint through thick and heavy strokes on the canvas in multiple layers, resulting in a play on texture and depth.
Sometimes, to escape from the canvas, Kain also continues exploring his abstract compositions through paperwork. His works are simple representations with delicate strokes.
Finnish artist, Eeva Honkanen, creates large, monochrome, ink drawings on paper inspired by traditional folktales, cartoons, comics and surrealist art, using contrast of light and shadow to inforce her compositions.
Quoting Honkanen, she describes her artwork with the sentence “If it doesn’t make sense then it’s true”, where she seems to explore in her works an isolate, infinite and mysterious environment. In her drawings, she mixes dramatic dreamlike compositions with narrated stories, implementing real objects such as machines, humans and animals, and transforming them into multiple, grotesque and strange figures. These drawings invite the viewer to explore the unknown and gives space for exploration of one’s own mental landscape.