In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the downtown Trail art gallery is showcasing an exhibit wherein the artist shares her own journey with the disease.
“Everything Became Beautiful,” by Nelson artist Erica Konrad opens Friday, Oct. 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the VISAC.
“My current body of work is based on my interpretation of animal and plant cells,” Konrad begins. “The work is inspired by my recent journey through breast cancer and healing, with the core of my work being a contradiction between fragility and strength.
“The direction I took marks a paradigm shift in my work, with a focus on installation, colour, forms and patterns linking the micro and macro worlds.”
Konrad reveals that after facing her own mortality, all things around her became beautiful, the natural world and its beauty was amplified.
“I went into nature to heal, hiking mountains and visiting the ocean, taking photographs of plants, shapes and colours,” she continues. “Because plants have rigid cell walls and do not die from cancer, I felt particularly drawn to studying them.
“This paired with research on microscopic images of cells, led to the inspiration for this body of work.”
Pairing natural material (paper and wax) with plastic (plexiglass and mylar) was deliberate to contrast healing to the disease, she explains.
“Rigid forms that morph into a flowing mass signifies the tension between order and chaos and the feeling of being out of control, and the importance of letting go. These cells could belong to anyone and everyone.”
Exploring the connections between science and art, she focused on merging the rational with the abstract.
As everything happens at the cellular level, Konrad says she was acutely aware of the profound effects tiny cells have on human consciousness and how one cell gone wrong can alter someone’s life.
“Dissecting the cell structure and reassembling the elements into something beautiful is my attempt to document the journey,” she adds. “‘Everything Became Beautiful’ is a love letter to healthy cells, and a personal testament to courageously moving forward into new territory.”
The exhibition will run until Oct. 30.