Friday, December 8, 2023

Three-Artist Exhibition: Bound by Nature | Corey Helford Gallery | Los Angeles

On Saturday, October 7th, downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) will proudly unveil a three-artist show, titled Bound by Nature, featuring new works by Canadian illustrator and author Dena Seiferling, Portland-based hyperrealist nature painter Lisa Ericson, and Russian born/Sydney-based painter Yulia Pustoshkina.

Regarding her new series, titled Small Creatures Big FeelingsDena Seiferling shares: “This collection consists of a variety of imagery/sculpture work brought to life through self-reflection and an effort to use subject matter that inspires a bright side to dark emotions. The narratives are about finding ways to be hopeful and holding onto purpose in a climate of uncertainty. I wanted to highlight the empowerment in acknowledging parts of ourselves, or experiences that we are a little afraid of, through the animals I chose to feature.” Adding, “In this series, I embraced the slow-paced and time-intensive nature of needle-felting to focus on smaller sculptures meant to be viewed up close. In addition to using vintage or antique objects to create context for my sculptures with, I wanted to incorporate movement into several of the sculptures which involved a collaboration with my dad to build small crank devices to move parts of the sculptures.”

Corey Helford
Aster, Marigold, and Lavender (in detail) by Dena Seiferling

Seiferling is a highly acclaimed picture book author, illustrator, and needle-felt artist who graduated with a B.F.A. and Visual Communications Degree from the Alberta University of the Arts, where she now works as an educator. She is the illustrator of Night Lunch, written by Eric Fan, which was awarded a 2022 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Picture Book of the Year award. The Language of Flowers marked her debut as both author and illustrator.

Corey Helford
One Bat by Dena Seiferling

Artist, illustrator, and designer Lisa Ericson blends her hyperrealist painting style with a vivid imagination, resulting in fantastical combinations of plants and animals. Regarding her new works, titled Doom & Bloom, Ericson shares: “The subjects in these pieces are survivors rising from the smallest of habitable spaces…or the last of their kind, barely holding on…again in the darkness. Exploring themes of deforestation, dwindling habitats, and the ravages of climate change on the natural world, all of these pieces live in the tension between darkness and light, hope and despair, doom and bloom. Which will win, we don’t yet know. We’re all on the precipice together.” She adds, “My ideas are often science-inspired, but with a surreal twist. I may read or hear about a scientific or environmental phenomenon and it provides a kernel of inspiration which can lead to a painting or an entire series. I use the black background to create the drama of the spotlight on my chosen subject. It singles them out, exposes their every tiny detail, and creates a void of the unknown around them. In that way, each piece becomes an intimate portrait. I think of the animals in my paintings as simultaneously representing the natural world and also reflecting our own human struggle and emotion. I like to draw parallels between the two.”

Corey Helford
“Edge of Night” by Lisa Ericson

Yulia Pustoshkina’s latest series of oil paintings, titled Meowzers, features feline family characters, and the inspiration for this choice of subject matter came from the artist’s travels through Egypt and Japan. Despite the vast cultural differences between these two countries, both celebrate the nature of the cat animal. Cats are known for their enigmatic behavior, independence, and having a mind of their own. Pustoshkina’s characters exhibit anthropomorphic characteristics, and the scene compositions suggest a story that allows the viewer to sense what is unfolding and pick up on the mood of the painting. The artist’s signature style is infused with a flair of humor and the main objective of these artworks is to promote kindness and acceptance of all living creatures.

Core Helford
“Extinguish” by Lisa Ericson

Pustoshkina’s artistic style is naturally influenced by her Russian background. Her current painting technique is a result of extensive practice in working with miniature paintings, which are common in folklore depictions. She has managed to carry out high detailization of imagery onto large canvases as well and has come up with her own title for her artistic style, Folkloric Surrealism. The artist’s anthropomorphic characters exhibit facial expressions and the viewer can pick up on the mood of the painting. The compositions add to the story that unfolds. The artist prefers that the viewer decides for themselves the interpretation of each artwork. Most often, her characters are on the go somewhere, which probably explains her own love for travel, where she picks up new inspirations for her work. Her main objective is for her paintings to bring joy and promote kindness and acceptance of all living creatures. 

Corey Helford
“Tiger of the Year” by Yulia Pustoshkina

Open to the public and free of charge, Bound by Nature is set to debut on Saturday, October 7th from 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm in CHG’s Gallery 3. Opening the same night in the Main Gallery will be a solo show by the award-winning, international renowned German artist duo Mark Landwehr and Sven Waschk [coarse], titled Because I Wanted You To Know, and a solo show by Japanese artist Kazuki Takamatsu, titled Parallelization Era. Plus, the gallery’s second installment of their Literartistry group showLiterartistry: Art Inspired by the Written Word will be premiering in Gallery 2. All shows will be on view through November 11th.

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