Daria Theodora, Daria Aksenova, Erika Sanada, Nicolas Bruno @ Haven Gallery

Once again Haven Gallery captivates us with their beautifully curated lineup of artists. Join them Saturday, February 23rd as they proudly present new works by Daria Theodora, “居場所: IBASHO”, Daria Aksenova, “万葉集 (Manyoshu): A Collection of Endless Layers”, Erika Sanada, “Dreamlike”, and Nicolas Bruno, “In Limbo” plus his “Between Realms” Limited Edition Catalogue + Collector’s Editions.

Abundant in narrative and laced with interpretive symbolism, each of these collections have something unique to offer art lovers and collectors alike. From stylized Japanese folklore to delicate shadowboxes with suspended illustrations and candy colored sculptures to haunting visual explorations, there is so much for the eyes to behold.

Opening Reception:

Saturday, February 23, 2019 | 6 – 8pm

Exhibition Dates:

February 23 – March 31, 2019


Haven Gallery

155 Main St., | The Carriage House Square

Northport, NY 11768

For additional information and images, please contact Erica Berkowitz at



Daria Theodora, “居場所: IBASHO”

Northport, NY– Haven Gallery is pleased to present “居場所: IBASHO”, a mini solo exhibition of new work by Boston based artist Daria Theodora. “居場所: IBASHO” is Theodora’s first mini solo show at the gallery and features a collection of seven new mixed media works that intermingle delicate inkwork with cascades of stylization, narrative and color. Facets of folklore and the natural world intermix with her graceful females as Theodora beckons the aesthetics and themes most prevalently found in one of her greatest sources of inspiration, manga.
“居場所” or “IBASHO” is a Japanese term defining “a place where one belongs to; a place where I can be myself”. These multifaceted paintings are a culmination of these magical ideas and worlds where a harmony of imagination and nature prosper. Commonly found in Manga but finding further influence from Japanese folklore and Shintoism, one can notice a sense of familiarity and peace amongst all living things. A dance of color, life and movement unify feelings of wonder, home and serenity creating a place that truly belongs to the artist and those who fall in love with each works imaginative and mellifluous machinations.

Daria is a semi-hermit illustrator drawing things from the cute to the pretty or the weird in her cave in a Boston suburb. She draws to eat desserts.
Daria’s works have been featured in ImagineFX, Illustration Age, and Illustration West 54.
She exhibits across the United States with Haven Gallery (Northport, NY), Helikon Gallery (Denver, CO), La Luz de Jesus Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), and Light Grey Art Lab (Minneapolis, MN).

Daria was the recipient of the Gold Award in Gallery, Illustration West 55 as well as an Honorable Mention in Unpublished and Self-Promotional, Sila West 55.


“Defiance”, watercolor, acryla gouache, pearlescent acrylic, and 24k gold, on paper, 14 x 11 inches, 17.5 x 14.4 framed

 “At World’s End”, watercolor and acryla gouache on paper, 10 x 8 inches, 14 x 12 inches framed


“The Story Weaver”, ink, watercolor and acryla gouache on paper, 10 x 8 inches, 14 x 12 inches framed

“Ambivalence”, ink, watercolor, acryla gouache, glitters, and 24 k gold, 13.5 x 10.5 inches (oval), 16.5 x 11 inches (oval) framed

“Homecoming”, oil on paper mounted on board, 20 x 16 inches, 25 x 21 inches framed


Daria Aksenova, “万葉集 (Manyoshu): A Collection of Endless Layers”

Northport, NY– Haven Gallery is pleased to present “万葉集 (Manyoshu): A Collection of Endless Layers”, a solo exhibition of new work by Houston based artist Daria Aksenova. “万葉集 (Manyoshu): A Collection of Endless Layers” is Aksenova’s first solo show at the gallery and will feature twelve new shadowboxes featuring her iconic pen and ink paper cut collages. Each shadowbox contains multiple layers of her suspended illustrations full of detail and cut precisely to create an illusion of movement and depth. Plays on shadow, values and color add to this sense of spatial complexity and cinematic quality as each moment appears as it is about to come to life. A clear nod to Aksenova’s past work in the fashion and film industries.

Aksenova’s use of layers also serves as a metaphor in describing the multi-faceted stratum of her female protagonists present in almost all of her shadowboxes. Symbols of identity, restriction and emancipation set within the artists dramaturgic panoramas echo feminist sensibilities revealing the complexities and interplay of the multifarious properties of female individuality amidst and against societal expectations. Aksenova is a visual raconteur who cleverly uses her physical medium of layers to both delight and interrogate the viewer. A balance of playful storytelling coupled with deeper seeded significance heavily influenced by the supernatural stories of her childhood stemming from animanga and science fiction culminate into a unique yet relatable performance echoing the worlds of imagination and reality.

I have always been fascinated with storytelling, starting with childhood bedside fables and mythology. Two years ago, seeking a new challenge, I undertook creating a narrative arc within a static medium, using principles I learned from my previous industries: fashion and film.
My mission is to bring back our childhood imaginations that are drowned out by the everyday bustle in our ever-busy lives. I choose my settings and subject material to draw the viewer back to the folk lore and myths of their youth, hoping to create artwork that inspires the dreamer within.

Daria Aksenova is best known for her suspended paper narrative compositions in ink. In the heart of Houston’s newly renovated creative studios, she displays a unique treasure of imagination. The current focus of her work takes on the creation of dynamic movement in a static medium, drawing from her past experience with the fashion and film industries. It is her intent that cinematographic storytelling arises from the layers and complexity of the composition. These pull in both the eye and mind, presenting a space and opportunity for the imagination to wander into a deep narrative that can only be experienced first hand.

Daria Aksenova uses ink as it is an unforgiving medium that precludes editing and demands precision. Individual elements are then hand-cut with a scalpel and suspended against each other until the desired depth is achieved. Her technique demands a steady hand and unfailing commitment, often requiring over a hundred hours of dedication and intimacy with each piece.

The subject matter is chosen by a fascination with mythology and folklore. Her pieces evoke a dreamscape-like narrative to serve as a vehicle to transport the viewer back to past, more carefree times, outside the limitations of the everyday world.


“綾鼓 (Aya no Tsuzumi)”, Pen and Ink on hand cut, suspended, layered paper (Shadowbox), 4.125 inches x 4.125 inches

6 x 6 x 3 3/4 inched framed

“Evanescence”, Pen and Ink on hand cut, suspended, layered paper (Shadowbox), 10.125 x 10.125 inches

12 x 12 x 3 3/4 inches framed

“Metamorphosis”, Pen and Ink on hand cut, suspended, layered paper (Shadowbox), 9.125 x 9.125 inches

12 x 12 x 3 3/4 inches framed

“Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing”, Pen and Ink on hand cut, suspended, layered paper (Shadowbox), 9.125 x 9.125 inches

12 x 12 x 3 3/4 inches framed

 “Unrequited Sorrow”, Pen and Ink on hand cut, suspended, layered paper (Shadowbox), 10.125 x 10.125 inches

12 x 12 x 3 3/4 inches framed



Northport, NY– Haven Gallery is pleased to present “Dreamlike”, a mini solo exhibition of new work by Tokyo born, now California based artist Erika Sanada. “Dreamlike” is Erika’s first mini solo show at the gallery and features a collection of six new ceramic works that serve as a visual exploration of the artists plaguing anxieties found amidst her dreams. Sanada is known for her candy colored sculptures of puppies playing, dreaming and interacting with other animal cohorts. The puppies represent Erika and perhaps the viewer, while the added animals represent notions of anxiety.

In this particular series, the canine’s prominent familiars are tiny birds that sprout out from the eyes and body. At first glance, these birds seemingly frolic and play innocently, but in fact, have the opposite effect, as the dogs faces and body’s stretch and tear to brace the strain of these symbolic critters. While these birds pull and rupture, new life is also born through evidence of germination and repair – strings to sew oneself back together are found along with leaves representing new growth and evolution.
Through her sculpture, Sanada cathartically confronts and copes with her own reoccurring anxieties while simultaneously connecting her audience through this universal affliction.
“My work usually reflects on the constant anxieties I face everyday. For this show in particular, I’m drawing inspiration from my dreams. I often remember dreams related to my anxieties vividly. In a way, they feel like nightmares, but also wonderfully bizarre dreams. It’s like seeing a glimpse the anxiety itself, so I feel like I’m coming face to face with them.”
Erika Sanada is California based artist and her early inspirations stemmed from creatures and characters of dark films. Watching films were way of escaping from her bitter childhood. She creates hairless ceramic creatures and they are often adorable, but also has bizarre shape. Her artwork has been published in Hi-Fructose Magazine, Hey! Magazine and Beautiful Bizarre Magazine.

“Dreamcatcher”, Ceramic, cold finish, strings, 20 x 11 x 7 inches

“Dreamlike”, Ceramic, cold finish, 6 x 6.5 x 11 inches

“Oracular”, Ceramic, cold finish, 7 x 5.5 x 10

“Chikkoi Warrior – REM sleep”, Ceramic, cold finish, 4.5 x 2.5 x 7 inches

“Chikkoi Warrior – sleepflying”, Ceramic, cold finish, 9 x 2.5 x 3.5 inches



Release of Artist Book with the Artist: February 23, 2019 | 6-8pm

Northport, NY– Haven Gallery is pleased to present “In Limbo” a solo exhibition of new work by Northport based artist Nicolas Bruno. Following his first highly successful solo show, “Between Realms” at Haven Gallery in 2016, “In Limbo” is Bruno’s second solo show here and features a collection of drawings, sculptures, editioned photographs and unique prints that continue to chronicle his anxiety steeped affliction of sleep paralysis. “In Limbo” is an ongoing journey and visual exploration of the darkest recesses of Bruno’s mind as he rebuilds and reenacts these images stemming from his nightmares. This inclusion of sculpture in this collection reveals the artists evolutionary growth in medium as he continues to transcend the imagery and emotion from his dream to create an even more empathetic and immersive environment.

“In Limbo” represents and records each step of Bruno’s cathartic journey from drawing the dream the moment he awakens, to building sets and costumes and ultimately inserting himself into the majority of these roles. Each aspect allows for therapeutic healing as Bruno seizes control over these common anxieties of fear, solitude, and pursuit that permeate both our sleeping and waking hours. Bruno seizes control of these nightmares and anxieties while taking his subconscious odyssey one step further through empathy and collective connection.


Nicolas Bruno has been experiencing sleep paralysis for nearly twelve years. Sleep paralysis is a common phenomenon occurring in between wakefulness and sleep, in which the body becomes immobile. This realization of inescapability causes the individual to become plagued by terror laden hallucinations. These frightening experiences infect the senses yet the ability to move or escape is not possible as the body itself remains frozen throughout the episode. Through the advice of a teacher, Bruno found a means of subduing the hauntings of his night terrors through creative expression. Recreating scenes from his hallucinations has allowed him to seize control of the danger and confront his antagonists on his own terms.

Growing up in a waterside town, Bruno’s images are influenced by memories of spending time by the sea, in the marshlands and amidst sprawling fields. His Italian heritage inspires his choice in titles while his admiration of art history plants subliminal seeds of artist tributes throughout his imagery. Nostalgia thinly laces his visions and imagery as darker embodiments of entrapment, being chased and secrecy bespeak a more prevailing role. Symbolism, dualities and the reoccurring motifs of obstructed vision, anonymity and being hunted dominate much of his work. Yet traces of hope and liberation can be noted as well. A sense of ambiguity subsists amongst these plagues of anxiety through the binary association of Bruno’s most archetypal elements. The water which bounds also saves; the ladders which lose much of their function while underwater still allow for ascension. A favorable reminder that even in the darkest of moments, hope and possibility lurk in the recesses of the harrowing.

Nicolas Bruno studied at Purchase College of New York, where he received his BFA in Photography in 2015. His studio practice is based in Northport, New York, where he photographs and fabricates props for his compositions. Bruno weaves together his terrifying experiences of Sleep Paralysis with surreal self portraiture in a therapeutic translation of night terror to image. His constructed worlds of uncertainty exist on plane between waking and sleeping, where he is tormented by a physical embrace of the subconscious and its perils, all while being paralyzed in bed. Influences of 19th century Romanticists, historical texts of occultism, and dream symbology lace each composition with various visual dialogues of the macabre.


Nicolas Bruno “Between Realms” Limited Edition Catalogue + Collector’s Editions

“Between Realms” is a limited edition, 67 page catalogue chronicling a selection of new works for his upcoming solo show (February 2018) at Haven Gallery, as well as recent works from the past four years. This is Nicolas’s first catalogue and is designed by the artist himself and will include a foreword by Haven Gallery Director, Erica Berkowitz. This catalogue is a limited edition of 200.

The limited edition catalogue will accompany the exhibition and is available to purchase.

“Tramare”, Digital Photograph, Inkjet on Cotton Rag, Edition of 7, 22 x 22 inches, Framed 28 x 28 inches

“Immersi”, Digital Photograph, Inkjet on Cotton Rag, Edition of 7, 22 x 22 inches, Framed 28 x 28 inches

“Attesa”, Digital PhotographInkjet on Cotton Rag, Edition of 3, 42 x 42 inches, Framed 48 x 48 inches

“Afflitto”, Ink on paper, 5 x 7 inches, Framed 8 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches

“Figure 2”, Resin, Rope, Fabric originally used in photographs, 14 H x 7.5 W x 5 D inches

About Author

Internationally exhibited artist and creator of Wooden Ophelia, Bella Harris is not only the Online Editor at Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, she also oversees all staff writers and helps support website functionality and development. As a contributing writer for the website, active copy editor, and editorial photographer, she plays a vital role in the growth of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine while working closely with advertisers and artists. Wooden Ophelia is a contemporary collection of original moon designs, handmade woodwork, artwork furnishings, and sacred crystals... all to enchant your home.

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