Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present Marina Savashynskaya Dunbar: Ways of Seeing. This is the first solo exhibition at the gallery for the artist.
I approach abstraction similarly to how an author may approach a work of fiction. In an imagined narrative an author crafts characters and constructs an environment for them to exist. It is a place built purely out of imagination but no matter how fantastical or surreal the story may be, there are still aspects that have to remain believable in order for readers to connect with the story. However, “believable" doesn’t mean true or logical or sensical. Believable means there is a common ground between imagined reality and actual reality. That common ground is a mystery, but it exists on some plane of the human experience and it’s the author’s job to investigate it. For me abstraction, like fiction, explores the pursuit of connection suspended between many levels of imagination and familiarity.
My relationship with the process is very physical. When engaging with the canvas, I am considering how the arrangement and folds will influence the composition. This process is as rooted in the physical construction of form as it is propelled by the medium’s inherent fluidity. Over time, I study the material to predict how it will move, how it will stain, how it will dry. The practice is akin to rehearsing, allowing me to understand my own decisions and impulses.
Each type of medium carries a different meaning, visual weight and tension. I combine paint that has a transparent, ethereal quality with sand which feels tangible and carries a greater density. Sand is a physical object, yet its existence is a representation of the passage of time. It is the result of rock erosion and it is a material that continually assembles into new patterns. In the Buddhist tradition, sand is used to convey beauty and ephemerality through the construction and subsequent destruction of mandalas. Using these themes as anchors of inspiration, the works evoke impressions of dunes, flora, and natural phenomena while departing from a faithful rendering of reality. - Marina Savashynskaya Dunbar
Savashynskaya Dunbar was born in Minsk, Belarus and moved to the United States at the age of nine. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbus State University. Most recent exhibitions were at Laura Rathe Fine Art, TX; Spalding Nix Fine Art, GA; Samuel Owen Gallery, FL; ABV Gallery, GA; and the Gibbes Museum of Art, SC. Her works are included in public collections at the Ritz-Carlton, FL; Cheveron Headquarters, CA; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY; Mount Sinai, NY, among others. Savashynskaya Dunbar currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina.