SENS Gallery is pleased to announce “Kindred Spirits”, an online exhibition on view exclusively on Artsy from 11 September to 14 October 2023. The exhibition presents the work of five international artists: Josiah Ellner, Dalya Moumina, Kora Moya Rojo, Julia Runggaldier, and David Surman. In “Kindred Spirits”, the complex relationship between humanity and the natural world is explored through the interpretations of five artists from different backgrounds.
Known for his awkward, playful figures, American artist Josiah Ellner interprets this relationship by using the hand as a powerful tool of expression. Encroaching a significant portion of the canvas, the gesticulation of these figures is a device used to imitate beings in flight, or to clearly visualize how an individual may interact with natural forms and beings. He amplifies their whimsical and humorous forms to achieve what it means to interact with the world around us.
Inspired by the terrains of her home countries of the Philippines and Saudi Arabia, Dalya Moumina creates conceptual,somewhat surrealistic realms that emit labyrinthine sensations and innate musicality. Distinctive characters emerge from the meandering hills and valleys of these landscapes she creates: these lands have been traversed by humans throughout history, constantly evolving to a place where the limits of reality don’t hold and opening up portals of wonder.
Julia Runggaldier’s ‘Gaslighters’ series observes a self-analysis of the artist’s innermost thoughts. Striving to capture the human soul, there is a subtle fragility in their expressions that explores the contemplations on existence. The perspective of the viewer is that of an intimate observer: the stoic postures and expressions of these figures identify self-reflection, questioning what it means to be in this world. They exist in a distant yet intimate world, encouraging the viewer to explore their own identity and worth.
The work of Kora Moya Rojo reconstructs her dreams and imagination in the protuberant, embryonic forms that inhabit the canvas. Her use of vibrant colours inputted into the elements of nature is her examination of fluidity, nostalgia, and womanhood. These rotund shapes and forms coalesce into beings with human emotions, cementing the connection between humans and nature. Although they metamorphosize into a foreign entity, they exude a familiar aura to the viewer.
David Surman’s birds, brought to life by vigorous strokes of paint and charcoal, demonstrates a playful dynamic between their behaviour and how they exist in the world. Influenced by his experiences of living in the countryside, Surman’s paintings are a direct representation of this relationship, utilizing an innocent style to convey nuanced, human stories. They are aligned like that of a family portrait: a parent protecting its child; and exudes pride and confidence in a familiar manner despite being perched to a branch.
Ellner and Surman explore the ways in which we observe or interact with nature itself through portraying living forms such as insects and animals in their works. For Runggaldier, our connections with nature come from the subtle fragility of the human figure and the contemplation of existence in this world. In contrast, the cacophonies and whimsical bulbous forms of Kora Moya Rojo envision human feelings within foreign matter to create a sense of familiarity with nature. For Moumina, she envisions otherworldly terrains and their distinct features as an image of what it is to call home.