Oda Iselin Sønderland
In her recent exhibition «Magical Girl» she reflects around the anime girl archetype, the striving towards an endless goal and the struggle of being in control. The watercolour paintings show different characters in an imaginative universe. The recurring mirrors and reflections give an insight to the character’s psyche and a feeling of being watched. Placing them in Norwegian forests and the city of Oslo, she connects a fantasy world with the grounded reality.
The pastel colour palette balanced with darker tones, gives the paintings an immediately playful and harmonic tone, contrasted with an underlying anxious feeling within the motive. Figurative painting mimics reality, which allows Oda to play with the representation of it. She stretches, distorts and creates unnatural reflections, to alter how we see the motive. Watercolours allow for transparent layers of colour, and a fading effect to create light and shadow. By using these techniques, she build up the painting’s depth and mimic certain surfaces. The ideal smoothness of the reflective objects is contrasted by the rougher texture of the medium to create a special look.
Oda Iselin Sønderland is currently interested in working with the narrative potential in painting, taking inspiration from the graphic structures in certain comics and fairytale illustrations, allowing for several images in one to create a narrative. Lately she has found an interest in ornamental interior architectural or furniture work decorated with images of biblical scenes or icons. The storytelling through this imagery fascinates me – it’s an immediate, yet ambiguous, way of communicating.