Each month, we feature an artist who caught our attention. They could be in theatre, film, music or visual art. The point is we think they’re kick ass and you should know who they are.
Oksana Berda is an emerging artist working primarily on paper. Berda is a collector: with the discipline of a mapmaker she plots the shore, tracing its edges, recording its textures; its wondrous ability to appear both still and moving. Oppositions are recurrent throughout her work: light and dark, turbulence and serenity, joy and despair, clarity and confusion. She is drawn to sublimity, of the intense beauty and power of the natural world, and how often it seems to mirror our own experiences.
6 things you can’t live without:
(Other than family, friends, and art)
- Escaping the city to hike
- My planner
- Early mornings
- Long baths
- My cat, Marls
What’s the best show (gallery) you’ve seen recently?
I just had a chance to visit Chicago and spend a day at the Art Institute. I got to cross off a couple of names off my bucket list like Agnes Martin, Mark Rothko and Claude Monet. It’s an amazing museum, so well curated.
What are your plans for 2017?
I have been gearing up to take my work to the next level, working in larger scale and experimenting with sculpture. I found my voice over the last two years and I want 2017 to be a year where I explore more uncharted territory.
Most memorable moment of your career thus far?
2016 was big for me, in terms of personal growth. There were a lot of emotional blocks that I was able to clear through developing my process and staying consistent. I feel like what I am producing is coming straight for my soul and although it wasn’t a singular moment – I find myself thinking of that as the most memorable thus far.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?
I don’t think I could do anything without an air of artistry. I think people who exceed their titles by continuously growing within their specific craft are artists like bakers, architects, teachers, yoga instructors or plumbers. I just chose the most expected way of conveying my vision.
What advice do you have for people who want to get where you are?
Commit to your creative practice. It has to be a daily thing otherwise you can’t grow.
Industry shout out — who does it go to?
It goes out to Helen Liene Dreifelds and Dara Vandor. They’re both Toronto-based artists; they are totally brilliant. There are many reasons to admire their work but one of the things I’m drawn to is the diligence with which they approach their practice. Each of their pieces accounts for countless hours of precision and dedication. It’s so powerful; it truly leaves me breathless.