October featured artist
Sculpting for Healing, Peace, and Harmony
By Natasha Dikareva
As an artist, I find inspiration in the world around me and in my personal experiences. I am moved by events, people, books, movies, music, and nature. At the heart of my art is a desire to communicate something meaningful and profound to the audience. I use my work to tell stories, challenge assumptions, and inspire others to see the world in a new light.
I employ a traditional process. It all starts with an idea that is born in my head. From there, I begin to depict it in my sketchbook, exploring different angles and perspectives until I arrive at a vision that excites me. Once I have refined the design of the maquette, I move on to creating the final sculpture. Throughout the creation of my sculptures, I remain connected to my original inspiration, allowing the piece to evolve and grow as I work through the process. Clay remains my favorite medium, yet other media can enhance it.
Recently, I started sculpting and blowing glass to capture the essence of translucent, ephemeral shapes evoking water and clouds. As stimuli for imagination, clouds invite us to find familiar shapes and recognize figures in the drifting puffs, inspiring countless legends of atmospheric deities from around the world. The combination of glass and clay sculpture traces the line between reality and reverie, bringing to life exquisite, surreal, impossible creatures to evoke serenity and transformation.
My artistic journey has been marked by a profound shift, the invasion of my beloved motherland, Ukraine by Russia in 2022. It has left an indelible mark on both my personal and creative identity, propelling my work in a direction that bears witness to the harsh realities and enduring spirit of my people. Before the war I used to sculpt serene, otherworldly creatures. Now, the visceral wounds inflicted on my homeland are mirrored in the very fabric of my sculptures. These perforations serve as tangible reminders of the destructive forces that have disrupted the harmony of my people’s lives. Drawing inspiration from the concept of negative space, I aim to elicit both absence and presence, darkness, and light. The light penetrating through the openings of my sculptures reminds us about the resilience and enduring hope that dwells within the human spirit, even in the darkest of times. The faces depicted in my work are searching for salvation, solace, and solidarity. It is my hope that through continued personal and collective healing, I can embark on a new chapter of my artistic journey, where my sculptures will reflect tranquility, and inspire a renewed sense of peace and harmony.