A Solo Exhibit by Stella Im Hultberg
Opening Reception: October 1, 2015, 6 to 10pm
On View: October 1 to October 24, 2015

Spoke Art is pleased to present “Stranger”, a solo exhibition by Portland-based artist Stella Im Hultberg. Comprised of new oil paintings and loosely rendered watercolor and India ink sketches, “Stranger” is an exploration into the fragmented dream-like world of female identity.

After spending some time to become a mother, Stella returns for her first solo show in four years at Spoke Art Gallery. The time spent away enabled her to refine her style and play up new aesthetics, Stella’s current body of paintings and illustrations have a unique and whimsical aesthetic that pay-homage to her earlier work while cultivating a visual language completely her own.

Playful and graphic, her new series of illustrations break free of rigorous composition and allow Stella to explore and experiment with alternative mediums such as India ink and watercolor. These unencumbered materials give way for beautiful and unexpected results. When asked about her process, the artist states, “It just feels like the materials or the image I’m trying to make is more fluid and organic, like they’re alive. It feels kind of like I have to try and communicate with them and make deals.”

“Stranger” is a surreal display of Stella’s signature female figures paired with organic iconography. Adorned with bountiful flowers and surrounded in a dream-like atmosphere, these figures are representative of the ever-changing feminine identity. In “Stranger” these shy and contemplative figures seem to represent fragments of new beginnings for the artist. Surrounded by symbols of mother nature and fertility, one could say that “Stranger” is a celebration of all things new.

The artist states, “There was a lot of “heaviness of love” that I felt since becoming a parent, a very heavy-feeling blessing. I’m sure many parents would agree. Maybe overabundance of flowers are a bit related to that – delicate flowers in heaps can become very heavy and hard to bear. Even the most beautiful things that can make it hard to breathe for you. But things happen in life, not just children, that can make you change before you realize. And suddenly you realize that you’re different. You see that you’re still you, but somehow you aren’t you
anymore – you’re a stranger to yourself.”

Please join us October 1st for the opening reception of “Stranger”. Complimentary beverages will be served and the artist will be in attendance.

To learn more about Stella or to see more of her work, visit her website:  www.stellaimhultberg.com