Water Damage

The exhibition features Indian ink drawings and paintings, paper sculptures and an animation created in 2013.

An empty white piece of paper is perfect and complete. First it has to be ruined so that the drawing can be freely worked on. When I work I am controlling. I make meticulous and time-consuming drawings that benefit from flaws. The name of the exhibition, Water damage, refers to both flaws and houses. I deal with the house theme from an anthropomorphic perspective. A house or a room is a living space, an image or a stage of the human mind. In my works, the houses are in the state of decay, sunken or destroyed by a flood. A flaw is a starting point and an opportunity to find something new. Stains mock you and a mess is a thicket that you have to clear. I strive for order, but chaos is tempting. I have used Indian ink because it is difficult to control completely. I like the black liquid that wets, dyes and soaks into the pores of the paper. The spirit of the bottle breaks loose.

The works are narrative by nature. They have been affected by various art works, literature and movies from different eras. The works only have a few references to realistic everyday life, even though one of the starting points has been news about irrational acts that have taken place in people’s homes. A house is often seen as a safe haven, but somewhere deep inside there may also be the frog prince Narcissus or Melusina, a feminine figure of legends who secretly turns into a serpent from the waist down. Our society relies on rationality and values success, but uncontrollable chaos is constantly present. I depict fears that are created when facing the subconscious powers churning underneath the fragile surface of reality. Houses resemble eggs as they are also some kind of shell. In the 1800s, Fabergé used exquisite materials to make Easter eggs for the Russian imperial family. Perfect miniature worlds were built inside the eggs. However, some of the eggs have gone missing in the course of time. In my head I think that the missing ones were unsuccessful. In my drawings they contain something black that was not meant to come out.

Elina Katara