Residency artists for January are Russian artists Lia Schell and Anton Kraftsky. After their respective studies at the Moscow State Academy of Fine Arts and the Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Arts, Schell and Kraftsky have been working with for example graphics, sculpture and mural painting. During their residency period in Ii, the Moscow-based artists continue the development of their shared project Asteroidea. The project was born in 2015 in Northern Karelia, a place far from cities’ coil and filled with silent meditative atmosphere. The residency period at Ii is a logical continuation to the project.
Nature, vibrations and calmness inspire the project working out mythology that is not invented by the artists, but goes through them in one unpredictable stream of ideas in the cosmos of inner life and close relative souls. The title itself means a starfish as a hint on the ocean floor where all life on the planet came from, but also derives from the combination of the words Astero+Idea. Schell and Kraftsky study civilization in history, compare science and myths, and try to catch what we mean by the notion of consciousness. The works utilizing mirrors, geometric forms and silver materials combine artificial objects inside wild nature in open air and appeal to the connection between consciousness and the outer space as the subjective approach to reality.
At the end of their stay, Schell and Kraftsky will hold an exhibition at KulttuuriKauppila and the Ränni gallery in Oulu. The two-part exhibition will showcase previous works as well as pieces produced in Ii during the residency period and is the first exhibition of the Asteroidea project.