Karina Kalvaitis: Age of the Unseen World

arc.hive gallery, Victoria, BC

By Christine Clark 
Age of the Unseen World is, in sculptor Karina Kalvaitis’ own words, a collection “of imaginary animals … created in small limited edition ‘litters,’ with each sculpture being unique enough to have its own personality. Created by hybridizing features from various animals and sometimes plants, they create a world …both familiar and strange.”
Fourteen creatures made from wool, an-gora, glass, wire, epoxyclay, polymer clay, acrylic paint and varnish, all approximately 8 to 9 inches long, will be exhibited in small groups of multiples. The fruit of three years’ labour, these little beings are inspired by a series of graphite drawings. Kalvaitis spent a year learning and perfecting her needle felting technique tobe able to incorporate the glass, wire and clay necessary to build the exquisite little horns and hooves and eyes. Her first success was the Northern Unicorns, a group of downy primatal elks, each with a lion’s mane, a velvety nose, blue eyes and a single elaborate antler.
Inspired by nature, animals and the tactile nature of art supplies, Kalvaitis graduated with a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design and studied theatre prop building at the Banff Centre (2007- 8). Her technical skill and love of mystery is a magical combination, seamlessly infusing her creations with spirit. She says that “like people without the armor of artifi ce and culture…[my creatures] nakedly engage with the world in ways that are beautiful, awkward and loveable.”
Opening Reception Sep 7, 7pm 

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