Ella Varvio's NY solo exhibition and artist talk
Ella Varvio, FCINY’s artist-in-residence in May-June 2018, will open her solo exhibition at ChaShaMa Gallery on June 20, 6-8pm. Additionally, Varvio will give a Visiting Instructor Talk at UrbanGlass, Brooklyn on June 21, 6-8pm.
Visitors to Ella Varvio’s pop-up exhibition Surreal City will encounter illustrations and glass artworks inspired by recent visual observations of the city of New York and more imaginative terrain. Varvio is specialized in art that combines mouth blown glass and narrative drawings. Her project as artist-in-residence at the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York revolves around seeking novel and contemporary motifs for her glass art.
The starting point for Varvio’s monochromatic illustrations is the city’s architecture to which she then adds a variety of surreal twists. In Varvio’s world, buildings transform into characters or organisms in their own right. The city is formed by layer upon layer, reaching from subterranean darkness to the peaks of skyscrapers, and amongst all this lurk fragments of nature hoping to reclaim surrendered ground. The drawings also capture how its inhabitants manage their way through this surreal city.
Varvio’s glass artworks are made using a special glassblowing technique that utilizes decoration trapped between layers of blown glass. The route from inspiration to the final object can be very long, with illustrations presenting the first stage in the design of the new artworks. This imagery will be later used as reference for engraving, sandblasting, painting or to prepare prints for the glass.
During her residency, Varvio is a visiting instructor at UrbanGlass, Brooklyn. Within the state-of-the art studios, Varvio has had the opportunity to create unique glass artworks that both mirror the themes of her new illustrations and explain the layered technique.
Surreal City exhibition is supported by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York.