KRISTINA SØBSTAD

 

My work involves abstracted landscape paintings on canvas exploring a culturally relevant palette, pulling colors from the pockets of adjacent communities set against surrounding landscapes. I seek to embody movement in my work by synthesizing sound, form, and color, resulting in unexpected juxtapositions. My process is intuitive and involves a full immersion into the natural environment: documenting, sketching, exploring, engaging, experiencing. These aren't little dates, an afternoon with my easel overlooking a pretty vista. These are full-blown, love affairs that last weeks if not months, where I get close and intimate: going deep on the trails and getting covered in mud, burrs and swamp; wading the tidal pools and palpating muscles to find pearls; seeking out the hidden through patience and quiet respect, like the bioluminescent algae on Middle Cove Beach (Newfoundland) where thousands of people have spent time and very few have seen. I translate memory--sensory, autobiographical, emotional, muscle--into physical form on canvas using expressive brush strokes and gestural, but thoughtful and deliberate, mark making.

My environmental interests are the underpinnings of my practice, in which I investigate how people who live in rural and remote regions reflect their natural environments and how those natural environments affect them. My interest and focus on remote or isolated communities arose from experiencing and interrogating/exploring/learning distinct ways of being in these places compared to urban settings.

Past relevant research experience includes artist residencies with: The Museum of Modern Art, Chiloe, Chile (funded by ArtsNL 2018); Skagastrond Artist Residency, Iceland; Bareneed Studios, Newfoundland and Labrador. These experiences have been paramount to the professional development of my work resulting in the acquisition of my work to permanent collections of various cultural institutions including the Canada Council Art Bank, The Rooms, The Museum of Modern Art Chiloe, and the Francophile Art Bank Paris.