South Parade is pleased to present Parties to cover the silence, a solo exhibition of Ukrainian born, Vienna based artist, Siggi Sekira.
Known for her work with ceramics and coloured pencil drawings; they create the shared ground of her interior and external world. This creative space draws on her childhood, Ukrainian mythology, the 1900 Wiener Werkstatte movement (Vienna Workshop), Soviet avant-garde, and the spread of Western pop-culture after the collapse of the Soviet Union. When she was a child her grandfather, a merchant seaman, used to give her flax and say it was the hair of mermaids, like Undine or Lilly, that he had met when crossing the equator. The blackened Grief Wreath, due to multiple firings, suggests the wreaths commonly worn by young women during Ivana Kupala night, a pre-christian slavic festival to celebrate the summer solstice.
Each finely worked drawing is a fusion of self-portraits, family stories and coincidences, creating a chronicle of an alternative, sometimes macabre, memory of her life. In a number of drawings, genderless, diaphanous figures float amongst vertebrae, sinew and disconnected muscle tissue creating the uncertainty of sleep and convalescence. (According to traditional Ukrainian folklore, death is perceived as a long sleep). In others, such as Dragonfly Garden, jelly-like forms circulate either to heal or harm.
Following a death, there is a wake in the family home. During these occasions, normally cherished pets, cats like Possible Kitty for Trips with its grainy pallor, closed bulbous eyes and swollen upper lip, are kept well away from the body so that the soul of the deceased does not enter the animal and remain in the house. A material modesty permeates Sekira’s practice. Coloured pencils, and clay, are the simplest and most economical means of artistic expression; yet can realise subtle and suggestive work.
This exhibition has kindly received support from the Austrian Cultural Forum London.
Siggi Sekira (b. 1987 in Odessa, Ukraine) lives and works in Vienna and is due to receive her MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2022. Recent solo/duo exhibitions include Contrappunto, Vin Vin (Vienna 2021), Artist Statement, Parallel (Vienna, 2020) and Bilingual, Soyuz (Pescara, IT, 2019). Selected recent group shows include Craving Supernatural Creatures, VBKOE (Vienna, 2022), “Hope” is the thing with feathers (South Parade, London, 2021), Sweet Lies, Ludwig Forum (Aachen, 2021), Eco Flirt: Vanitas, Smolka Contemporary (Vienna, 2021), Exhibition of miniature art, Tiny Art Gallery (The Hague, 2021), Birds Shun Such Trees (online), Et al (San Francisco, 2021), Cruel Summer Camp, EXILE (Vienna, 2020), Rhizome: Images of Thought, Galerie Kandlhofer (Vienna, 2020) and Fever Dream, Gianni Manhattan (Vienna, 2019). In June 2022 her work will feature in a duo booth at Liste Art Fair (Basel) with Polansky Gallery (Czech Republic).