HIC SVNT DRACONES
17.09 - 16.10.2022
Galleri Kverk. Reykjavik Iceland
The exhibition consists of 26 framed drawings and a sculpture that goes through the wall of the gallery space.
From Eva “The arrow is the indicator, the guide, Artemis helped, and Brigid. Yes the arrow is from another world, or maybe not. It just depends on how we perceive this one, it has everything. The arrow is the symbol that points forward, it is actually moving even though it is standing still. With her you are either chosen or chased. With it you aim or fire.”
Eva Isleifs’ drawings are a continuous exploration of her vivid and layered ancestral landscape. Realized with the use of multiple mediums, her works feel like a long search, a need for connection and introspection of the realms of her predecessors, of women who paved the way, who stood strong, defying the cold Icelandic winters, harsh winds, and ever-present summer light. Eva explores both the historic and the fictional: could they make up one spiritual reality in itself?
Through her artistic process, Eva becomes a feeler. Her hands are intuitively connected to her mind as they are connected to her heart, letting them lead in the way she holds a brush, mixes paints, holds a pen, spreads chalk. She is guided by the past and the present: her past and her ancestor’s past. In her drawings, we re-imagine her female ‘befores’ as they steer her in her feeling. With her generous use of colours and mediums, nothing is disposable. Fluorescent yellows and strong reds, curved lines, and almond-shaped circles, drawn beings are transfigured and alive, standing strong and tall, defying the harshness of existence.
The methods reflect her feeling and her need to feel, leaving her subconsciousness, strongest felt at night and in the morning, to take her hand connected to her heart connected to her paint brushes. In the mornings she would be up early, earlier than anyone else, occupying a space in East Iceland; a candle to brighten and palo santo to lighten, all working in supporting her efforts.
Symbols of a distorted and dream-like scenery delve into a world revealing Eva’s inner rich ancestral spirits. She possesses a firm yet malleable hold between the many worlds surrounding us – binding them together and uncovering a myriad of images overflowing with cultural and spiritual meanings while fully determined to be felt.
Nika Senica is a writer, researcher and visual anthropologist with a passion for the natural and the spiritual. Her work deals with birth practices, visual culture and the processes of filmmaking.