“I am grabbing things that appear in front of me, moments and sensations. I keep them as treasures, which are open in moments when I want to colour the silence,” Natalia Seranade says in introducing her work. “When my imagination and fantasies are flying, I mix the collected stuff with new things that appear in the moment, I never know what can appear, and I never know what will be the result. I am in another world where I am able to find what was unknown to my eyes.”
It’s a description which encapsulates her work perfectly: moments captured in time, filtered through a lens of imagination and the inspiration which occurs in the very instant of creativity to produce a striking image, often rich in emotion and subtext. And it is a description which in turn is perfectly framed by Awakening, an exhibition of Natalia’s work on display at Nitroglobus Hall, curated by Dido Haas, during September / October 2016.
Awakening is a visual interpretation of the philosophical / psychological idea that everything we see in the world, all the encounters we have, intimate, friendly, happy, unhappy, and so on, in whatever we do, are in fact a reflection of ourselves. As Natalia notes, it is perhaps best embodied on a personal level through our interactions and relationships by the saying your perception of me Is a reflection of you, my reaction to you is an awareness of me.
Within Awakening, we have an exploration of this concept. In viewing the images, colourful, striking, blended through considered use of PhotoShop, we are directly challenged to consider what is it within ourselves that drives our reactions to them, and how does our perception of the art – the individual pieces and the collective whole of the exhibition – speak to our own nature?
It’s an intriguing approach; when witnessing art – or anything we find attractive or unattractive – it is easy to externalise our reaction, as to what is right / wrong about the art (or event or person, etc.). If we consider what might be within us that drives our reaction, it is generally only on a superficial level. We rarely delve deeply into our own psyche to determine what might be working within ourselves to generate that reaction, or what may have been at work to inform any perceptions we have about art, virtual or otherwise. Within Awakening, we’re being asked to do just that.
This may not be a comfortable subject for some – but it is an intriguing one, and something which perhaps gives us greater pause in visiting this exhibit than might otherwise be the case. But just because there is a deeper potential within Awakening for introspection and questions about ourselves shouldn’t be used as a reason to not visit. Jungian considerations aside, as noted towards the top of this article, the images within Awakening beautifully exemplify Natalia’s approach to her art. They are striking pieces, rich in colour, imagery and emotion, deserving to be witnessed and appreciated.
- Nitroglobus Hall (Rated: Moderate)