Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
Exquisite and thought-provoking! Katherine Silvera's work focuses on a constant visual dialogue with herself and ideas held in her subsconciousness. Her pieces recently exhibited at the Flow Boardroom, Hope Zoo, depicted a world related to her experiences and reality and signified a multitude of themes and contorted forms on different subjects.
Katherine Silvera is a fine artist who specialises in mixed media, drawing and installation.
At an early age, she taught herself how to paint and draw and experimented with different techniques and styles of painting. During this time, she also used art as a means of introspection and to deal with childhood issues.
Her experiences in the world of art include enrolling at Filton College in Bristol, United Kingdom, where she spent a year studying art and design for which she was awarded a Merit. With this exposure, she gained entry into the prestigious Spike Island Centre for the development of Contemporary Art in Bristol, where she studied fine arts for the following three years.
Silvera has created large-scale psychedelic ultraviolet backdrops and participated in various group exhibitions. After seven years in the United Kingdom, Silvera returned to Jamaica where she has been doing work with large-scale murals, paintings on canvas, drawing and collaging.
SILVERA'S SON IS MUSE
Her latest exhibition, which is her fourth showing, also features work inspired by her young son.
Ten pieces were on display and also depicted varying female forms and how women are portrayed in today's society. Horns are also very visible in the pieces and, according to Silvera, they signify the strength of a woman. " I usually have them (horns) on women to signify female empowerment. It is a symbol of power and I believe there is always a message in my work," Silvera said.
She started working with oil paintings but soon found acrylic to be more versatile. Unlike oil paints, acrylic paints can more effectively be worked into mixed medium works. Her edgy paintings are made with vivid colours and seductive materials, and her current work reflects the duelling relationships between natural and synthetic forms - those that look like nature versus those that are nature.
She is endlessly inventive in her combinations of meticulous painting that are achingly introspective and personal.
Starting without a predetermined plan she finds her design as she works. Her art is short on drama, scale, emotion, or humour. But it does have wit and the variety of her formal invention is inexhaustible.
In paintings like these, Silvera's purpose is to create a thing that exists only in the realm of art. She will interrupt or curtail any circle, line, arc or wave before it can develop into a form that resembles something in the natural world.