Brace yourselves for an incredible lineup of artists for the November solo exhibitions at Haven Gallery. In true style, these beautiful collections have something special to offer as the imagination of each artist manifests itself in resonating harmony to its counterparts. Reflecting upon various notions, sentiments, and subject matter, the surrealistic nature of these bodies of art emerge through light and darkness while setting a furtive ambiance that will undoubtedly draw viewers in, one by one.
Join Haven Gallery in the celebration of Mahlimae “Shadowlands”, Chris Mars, Matt Dangler, Brian Despain, Scott Radke “Idem Facere”, Kelogsloops “Flood”, and Sarah Joncas “Maelstrom”.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Radke (with some exclusive images below) to learn more about “Idem Facere” and all his natural aesthetics. We hope you enjoy!
November 3 – December 8, 2018
155 Main St., | The Carriage House Square
Northport, NY 11768
Scott Radke’s surrealistic sculptures hold great emotion and stories in their childlike faces. A mixture of animals, celestial bodies and anthropomorphic beings make up this collection, each offering a strong and unique presence. These chimeras intermingle nature with humanity, bringing our most instinctive emotions to the surface, but also playfully pull at our imagination and invite us to follow them into their secret worlds.
Scott, it’s so exciting to chat with you on this platform to talk about your solo exhibition. Tell me about your inspiration for ‘Idem Facere’. What does it mean? And what does it stir within you?
It’s Latin for identification or to make the same. It always seems I’m trying to identify something wordless. Like there is a pull to feel at home or complete. I struggle with titles for shows as I pretty much just flow along and to put a theme to it throws me off. At one time, I wanted to title it ‘reflections’ but that sounded like a disco bar so I thought I’d pick something to sound intelligent. :)
If your sculptures could speak, what would they say?
I’ve never thought about that. The ones in this show would probably scream I love you. Filled with an ache for something complete and happily delirious, in total awe of what they may have felt and probably unable to put it into words so I have no idea what they would say but I’m sure they would try.
With your work, I really enjoy the absorption of nature and the transformation of seemingly simpler things like umbrellas, acorns, clovers, and feathers into something steeped in whimsy and mystery. How do you describe your aesthetic?
Everything feels very together, recently, as far as creating goes. Like full circle in some ways. I always spent a lot of my childhood just being in nature. It never was as much a part of my work as it is now- I really enjoy and always wanted it more a part of my work. It’s always been there in some sense but it’s just more together now. Feels like home. I just show up and am there and allow it to come out. Faces etc are almost entirely out of my control. I’ll add symbolism or metaphoric elements that speak to someone or just speak to myself about what’s going on in my life at the time. Trying to make sense of it, I suppose, or give it some solidity, which never quite happens. It’s a good driving force, for sure. Sometimes, especially this time- there is so much more.
Do you have any rituals when sending your pieces off to a new home?
Not particularly. Honestly, once I get them outside and photograph them, I let them go. Each is like a journey and once I’ve reached the images I close the book and start over. However, some elements stick forever and I like that. It’s like if you train a tree to grow a certain way it’s always going to have that shift left in it in some way.
I think many viewers of your art would interpret them as beautiful familiars. What do you think?
I can see them coming off that way. To me they are just like dreamy little adventures I take credit for, showing up and adding this or that…but much, if not most, of it just happens and I’m grateful for that. Maybe they are just little snapshots of emotion or connection, a blabbering mess of incoherence but somehow connect with people on some level. It’s amazing to me how that happens. Sometimes very personal expressions come through to people.
What would you say manifested inside of your artistic brain to start creating these fantastical little creatures? And what’s your favorite?
It certainly evolved over the years. It’s like for much of my career I was having like a temper tantrum and then something happened. Like I just feel really happy inside- my heart still breaks, I still get angry and grumpy but there is a steady smile behind it all. It’s wonderful. My work is very personal and not personal at the same time. I can’t really pinpoint where “they” come from or it comes from. I spent years drawing, making puppets, doing this or that, but something came full circle. Sorry it all sounds so vague. It just is sort of. I don’t usually have favorites but Tutut is very different to me. All the work in my show is connected to her in some way.
“For many, culture teaches us from early infancy to split or polarize light and dark – ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’, ‘good’ and ‘evil’, ‘active’ and ‘passive’, ‘expression’ and repression’. As such, the birth of our individual consciousness is crafted upon a crossroads, forming a great dichotomy within our psyche that splinters more deeply with the passing years. With societal expectations those psychic elements we deem inferior, unacceptable or evil within ourselves become incompatible with our conscious attitudes and are denied expression in life; they are inhibited, cast aside and forced to take refuge within the darkest crevices of our unconscious selves where they contort, sorceress and grow blacker.
Shadowlands is an intimate gathering of manifestations of the twilight and in-between places; hidden things possessed of light and shadow exposed, as Mahlimae attempts to reconnect with her disowned self, making the darkness conscious once again.” – Mahlimae
Nicole is an internationally exhibited self-taught mixed media sculpture artist living and creating in the wilderness of Southern Tasmania, Australia. Her exquisitely simplistic and emotionally driven characters blossom from a world long forgotten; a world hidden in the shadows of imagination where the wind blows wild, the trees groan with ancient secrets born from the whispers of the ancestors.
Finding inspiration in ancient ritual and ancestral folklore, Nicole’s melancholic words take you on a compelling dreamlike journey into the darkness and light of human nature, drawing you in closer to explore the stories hidden within their subtle and fragile expressions. Each piece is carefully hand sculpted using stone clay, gathered natural materials and tattered hand-dyed textiles. The final works are pulled together by a common theme of possibility, a longing for connection, and an aim to intrigue.
A surreal collection of new work from Chris Mars, Matt Dangler and Brian Despain. Each artist depicts extraordinary worlds full of creatures, imagination and whimsy with a dedicated balance of what darkness may live outside of the light.
Hieu Nguyen is an emerging Australian artist who goes by the alias, kelogsloops. He specializes in both digital and watercolour paintings, often depicting female portraiture as his preferred subject matter of choice. Blending realist, abstract and surreal art styles with his anime and cartoon influences from his upbringing, his work intends to capture the ethereal, evoke the dream-like, and stir the whimsical.
Hieu started drawing as a child, often losing himself in his sketchbooks drawing characters from anime series and manga, notably, Sailor Moon. He used his love of anime to shape the drawings he did. He got a bunch of figurines of his favorite shows from Solaris Japan and used them to practice more and more. He went on to paint digitally in 2009 after receiving his first Wacom tablet. In his final years of high school, he began experimenting with watercolor painting as part of an assignment for his studio subject. Consequently, he fell in love with the medium and has defined himself as a watercolour & digital artist since, going by his motto of ‘be right back, chasing dreams.’
Hieu currently exhibits his work in galleries, whilst also maintaining a presence on social media, notably on YouTube. He intends to continue his current projects and pursuits, hoping to one day have his own studio and teach.
“A state of turmoil and confusion, ‘Maelstrom’ is a small body of paintings I created while delving into a place without any true direction other than the feelings and ideas that surfaced and stirred along the way. I didn’t approach this show with an over arching theme, but rather decided to explore the paintings as they came to me, allowing some ideas to mix and others to branch. Having recently begun to push the graphic elements surrounding the figures in my work, I’m using these often surreal touches to further reflect the characters struggles, enjoying the psychological tension they suggest.” – Sarah Joncas
About Sarah Joncas:
Sarah Joncas was born in 1986 and grew up in both Hamilton and Niagara Falls, Ontario. Her interest in the visual arts developed at an early age, starting with the dedicated drawings of dinosaurs and lizards. Eventually the study and enjoyment of working from existing images stirred up the need in Sarah to create images of her own; ones that could reflect the world, yet also appease the personal feelings/ideas that she maintained. With this, her direction changed gradually from the world of animation, towards a path in fine art. Sarah graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design’s BFA program. She currently resides and works out of Toronto, Canada.