Nature Matter

Sergei Sviatchenko: Collage
15 September - 16 December 2018

Curator: Faye Dowling

Set in the distinct natural beauty of the Northern Jutland peninsula, the Silkeborg Art Centre resides in over twenty acres of land by the Spring Arnakkekilde. In this unique collaboration Danish-Ukrainian artist Sergei Sviatchenko will envelop and transform the landscape and environment, immersing the architecture of the Silkeborg Art Centre into the landscape that surrounds it.

Sviatchenko presents new artworks created from his studies of the natural and constructed environment at the Silkeborg estate and woodlands. Centering on Sviatchenko’s collage series Secretly, the artist envelops and transforms the landscape and environment, immersing the architecture of the building into the landscape that surrounds it. 

Created from photographs taken by Sviatchenko during 2013-14, his series ‘Secretly’ redraws the woodlands, pairing different elements of nature and concrete forms to create a portrait of the fragile and elegant nature. “As my own life brings the comprehension of nature force and influence on our lives.” says Sviatchenko, “I wanted to wipe the familiar and (re)create the forgotten”. 

Erected to cover the full building in a collage of over 350 m2. NATURE MATTER is a full facade collage for the exhibition building in Silkeborg, creating a surreal and theatrical performance of the woodland matter and the light that animates and transforms it.

Looking back through the artist’s rich archive, we can find the early reflections of Sviatchenko’s facade in a series entitled For Light and Memory, 2012. Also his series ‘Resisting Interpretation’, 2013, takes this wonderment into night fall, exploring the transformations of nature in darkness, with disruptive colors, drawn from the earth, yet somehow unworldly.

Often defined by his instinctual and decisive cutting, Sviatchenko’s visual metaphors echo in this emotive description. Just like his poetic titles – it is this balance between knowledge and naivety, between wisdom and childish wonder, that the magic of Sviatchenko’s collages resides.

This lenticular vision is echoed in Sviatchenko’s new paintings, ‘Dialogue of Days Silence’, 2017, which present a rich dream of dark greens, deep browns and red hues, extracted from the forests and lakes recalled from his youth. Also revealed at Silkeborg is the title project ‘Nature Matter’, 2018, a new series of large photographic collages constructed from detail photographs of nature discovered around Lake Ørnsø. 

The above text is an extract from Faye Dowling’s text, printed in full length in the exhibition catalogue “Nature Matter. Sergei Sviatchenko : Collage”. Faye Dowling is a Curator & Editor, based in London. 

About the artist: 

Sergei Sviatchenko (b.1952) is a Ukrainian artist living and working in Viborg, Denmark, since 1990. His work has been honoured in monographs including Sergei Sviatchenko: Collages by Rick Poynor (Schlebrügge, Vienna, 2014), Everything Goes Right and Left if You Want it. Art by Sergei Sviatchenko (Gestal-ten, Berlin, 2012), and Sergei Sviatchenko: I AM COLLAGE, (Lindhardt & Ringhof, Denmark 2018). Sviatchenko has exhibited internationally, and has completed major commissions for companies ind the DK such as Jyske Bank, Silkeborg, Aalborg University in Copenhagen, Poul Due Jensen Academy, Grundfos, and Magasin du Nord, Copenhagen.

"One of the most influential innovators of modern collage." – Gestalten

NATURE MATTER, will be accompanied by a catalogue, art directed by James Greenhow (UK), featuring exhibited artwork and essays by Iben From, Director of Art Centre Silkeborg Bad, Ukrainian curator Natalia Matsenko, and an introduction by curator Faye Dowling (UK).

Through the last 25 years Sergei Sviatchenko had several solo- and group exhibitions in Denmark as well as in the US, Canada and most of Europe. He was educated in art and architecture from the art academy in Kharkov, Ukraine, and he has a Ph.d. from School of Architecture in Kiev, Ukraine. In 1990 he settled in Denmark, and since then he lived and works from his basis in the city of Viborg. In 2002 he founded the exhibition space Senko Studio in the same town, and here he curated numerous international exhibitions with young artists, photographer and video artist until 2009. 

Here after he founded his still running art project Close Up and Private, a photography-based project, which give a contemporary view on style, fashion and classical details – a project which as well as his collages – has gained substantial international attention. 

The exhibition NATURE MATTER is on show from September 15th 2018 – December 16th 2018 at Art Center Silkeborg Bad, Denmark.