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“Unrequited Sorrow”

“あやとり (Ayatori)”



“Heart Strings”

“Feeding Grounds”


“Garden of Flora”

“綾鼓 (Aya no Tsuzumi)”

"Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing"

“Fairytale Ring”

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Daria Aksenova, “万葉集 (Manyoshu): A Collection of Endless Layers”
February 23rd – March 31st, 2019
Opening Reception with the Artist: February 23rd, 6-8pm

Northport, NY– Haven Gallery is pleased to present “万葉集 (Manyoshu): A Collection of Endless Layers”, a solo exhibition of new work by Houston based artist Daria Aksenova. “万葉集 (Manyoshu): A Collection of Endless Layers” is Aksenova’s first solo show at the gallery and will feature twelve new shadowboxes featuring her iconic pen and ink paper cut collages. Each shadowbox contains multiple layers of her suspended illustrations full of detail and cut precisely to create an illusion of movement and depth. Plays on shadow, values and color add to this sense of spatial complexity and cinematic quality as each moment appears as it is about to come to life. A clear nod to Aksenova’s past work in the fashion and film industries.

Aksenova’s use of layers also serves as a metaphor in describing the multi-faceted stratum of her female protagonists present in almost all of her shadowboxes. Symbols of identity, restriction and emancipation set within the artists dramaturgic panoramas echo feminist sensibilities revealing the complexities and interplay of the multifarious properties of female individuality amidst and against societal expectations. Aksenova is a visual raconteur who cleverly uses her physical medium of layers to both delight and interrogate the viewer. A balance of playful storytelling coupled with deeper seeded significance heavily influenced by the supernatural stories of her childhood stemming from animanga and science fiction culminate into a unique yet relatable performance echoing the worlds of imagination and reality.

I have always been fascinated with storytelling, starting with childhood bedside fables and mythology. Two years ago, seeking a new challenge, I undertook creating a narrative arc within a static medium, using principles I learned from my previous industries: fashion and film.
My mission is to bring back our childhood imaginations that are drowned out by the everyday bustle in our ever-busy lives. I choose my settings and subject material to draw the viewer back to the folk lore and myths of their youth, hoping to create artwork that inspires the dreamer within.

Daria Aksenova is best known for her suspended paper narrative compositions in ink. In the heart of Houston’s newly renovated creative studios, she displays a unique treasure of imagination. The current focus of her work takes on the creation of dynamic movement in a static medium, drawing from her past experience with the fashion and film industries. It is her intent that cinematographic storytelling arises from the layers and complexity of the composition. These pull in both the eye and mind, presenting a space and opportunity for the imagination to wander into a deep narrative that can only be experienced first hand.

Daria Aksenova uses ink as it is an unforgiving medium that precludes editing and demands precision. Individual elements are then hand-cut with a scalpel and suspended against each other until the desired depth is achieved. Her technique demands a steady hand and unfailing commitment, often requiring over a hundred hours of dedication and intimacy with each piece.

The subject matter is chosen by a fascination with mythology and folklore. Her pieces evoke a dreamscape-like narrative to serve as a vehicle to transport the viewer back to past, more carefree times, outside the limitations of the everyday world.

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