Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Swedish Folklore by Kari-Lise Alexander \\ Curated

In my work I spend a large portion of my time researching artists, so when one sticks out to me it's become pretty significant in my mind. I've recently starting making sure I pin artwork that does this as there's been so many times I've tried to relook for a piece and kicked myself because I can't find them again! I'm been thinking so much about my blog and the career I want to develop in the arts and how I would love to streamline them together. One of my favourite parts is meeting artists and helping them get exposure and hopefully opportunities down the line. As such it seems silly to keep cataloging all these inspiring pieces and doing nothing about them. So after being motivated by people like the Jealous Curator and Graphique Fantastique I aim for my blog to become a hub of creativity and a chance to promote the work of others (alongside my occasional lifestyle posts!). 

While there are many artists who's work I enjoy I really wanted to only share those I feel a connection with. After much thought and researching through my pinterest catalogue, I decided to start with the work of Kari-Lise Alexander. I first encountered her work through the series she created for a solo exhibition at the Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco, California entitled A Lovelorn Theft in 2015 and was captivated by the rich, deep colour palette and delicate portrayal of fabric. 

It takes a great deal of skill to emulate the delicate wisp of silk or finely netted chiffons through art; her paintings remind me of the sculptural work of Italian artist Raffaelo Monti. The use of a veil gives a sense of ethereal elevation and purity, connecting with the symbolism of marriage or spiritual dedication. Yet she draws in an element of sensual beauty, captivating the female form with elegance. The secluded environments her subjects are depicted in however suggest a private moment, connecting her back to nature. Highlighting once again the purity of the human form. 

I have always felt drawn to the use of darker and richer tones in oil painting. It has brought a layer of classicism into Alexander's work and a sense of luxury, comparable to the feeling of a dark office filled with mahogany furniture, oozing with opulence. However her work in no way comes across as pretentious, for me it is a delicate balance that communicates a whole range of emotive energy.

While researching for this post I found that her great influences are her heritage and her home, exploring folklore and surrealism. After looking through her earlier work, most notably 2012-2013. I saw elements of Swedish culture, especially her use of the Dalahäst horse. Having been fortunate enough to visit both Sweden and Denmark back in 2013 I fell in love with so much of the Scandinavian lifestyle and architecture. 

Much of her earlier work holds a greater illustrative and brighter quality, acting as a stark contrast to her current practice. Yet many of the core themes hold true throughout and the journey of progression really is an interesting one. It is wonderful to watch artists develop and explore their styles and use of mediums.

If you would like to see more of Alexander's work:

*All images remain property of the artist

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