Tania Goryushina – från serien Mona Dara. 30x40cm, 2011
by Håkan Bull
From her native Ukraine Tania Goryushina had an art education (ceramics and graphic design & illustration) when she moved to Sweden in 2009 for her master’s degree at Umeå Art College. Due to communication problems and cultural differences she experienced a frustrating period where even the perceptions of whether a piece of art was of high quality or not differed from what she had been taught. Tania Goryushina felt that she had to combine her technical skills with the Swedish manner of working with art projects instead of merely painting single pictures. For her first major project My Sweden she painted life-size watercolour portraits of some of her classmates. The idea was to get to know the person portrayed during the 3-4 hours of a sitting. To spend this much time and effort was also a way of showing respect and commitment to her new life and new friends. The stress of dealing with the immigration authorities in order to be able to stay in Sweden resulted in the series Mona Dara, named after the person who handled her case at the migration office. These watercolours are strict in their limited abstract geometrical forms as opposed to the transparent and flowing manner of her portraits. She is now happily settled in Sweden, but also occasionally works for Ukranian customers. Her latest works include animal portraits, illustrations of children’s books and various design and art projects.
by Jacqueline Stare
Working as a graphic and watercolour artist Dan Wirén has just participated in an exhibition at the Art Academy in Stockholm together with Eva Lindström and Christine Ödlund. The three of them shared an award for their exceptional talents in watercolour art. The motivation praised Dan Wirén for seeking out simplicity and using reduction and concentration as a means to describe complicated connections. His ink paintings derive from his own experiences, perhaps as sensitive signs and forms. Sometimes they can be humorous or even caricatures. His interest of ink comes from working with graphic art in black and sepia. He likes the fact that ink is made up of soot from burnt coal, perishable yet able to last for hundreds of years when kept under the right conditions. It is one of the oldest art materials in many cultures. Since his studies at the Royal Art High School he has also studied calligraphy and ink painting in China to be able to use the ancient Chinese techniques to create his own challenging and compelling art of personal signs and symbols.
by Kelly Lindblom
Boris Culjat is born in Croatia, brought up in Canada and has lived and worked in Sweden for most of his life. He completed studies as an architect in Canada and gained a scholarship that brought him to Sweden in 1966 where he met his Swedish wife. Boris Culjat specialized in climate and environmental architecture and at one time he had his own company, but now his main occupation is as an artist. His education included art study, watercolour and drawing classes and life paintings so he would not call himself self-taught even though he did not attend art school. Some years ago he was accepted to the juried watercolour show at Väsby. He was awarded a prize, was asked to be a member of the jury the following year and was offered a solo exhibition there. All his works are centred around 3 themes: Humans, nature, architecture. Sometimes he also adds pencil drawing in his watercolours, maybe due to his architectural background, he says. He will make collages or combine oil paint and black-and-white photos or make use of other kinds of media – even digitally, elaborating on works that have been scanned and printed. For him it is the message that is essential – not the technique. Enjoy his upcoming solo exhibition at Edsvik Konsthall in Sollentuna (spring 2017).
So we remember – An exhibition by Chen Xi
by Peter Vilhelm Nielsen
The exhibition So we remember held at the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong in 2016 expresses the huge changes that the Chinese artist Chen Xi has experienced in her life and the unease that she feels about the fast changes taking place at present. The exhibition gives different examples of some iconic Chinese events where TV has had a key role. Every example is illustrated by an oil painting and a watercolour work side by side. By presenting the paintings within the TV’s glass, they become screen-shots linked to a specific moment in time and space as well as to the living room setting, where the news would have been seen. The watercolour is partly a study of details and colour for the oil painting but it is also a way of expressing thoughts and moods using Chinese ink, watercolor, pencil, and sometimes even oil paint. Chen Xi has a long habit of working with watercolour and apart from being a contemporary piece of art, the watercolour also expresses a Chinese tradition. The watercolours were made to prepare the theme, to confirm the preliminary ideas and to study the emotional side of the situation. She finds that these watercolours may contain some unfinished phases and are therefore open for more directions.
Summary by Marianne Gross