Dana Pasila

Stillness and vibrant activity co-exist to activate the spatial sensibilities in my paintings. Shifts between foreground and background draw the eye to either rest within the composition or to restlessly navigate its architecture. Between observation and abstraction, my imagery follows pathways to moments of focused attention and protected spaces. As in the work of Marsden Hartley, Andrea Belag, and Howard Hodgkin, my paintings feature saturated colours and strongly delineated forms in dreamlike landscapes. The simplicity and empathy in the work of Agnes Martin and Mary Heilmann and the fierce dynamism of Joan Snyder, Emily Carr, and Joan Mitchell are woven together and inspire my work; my aim is to transmit a sense of resilience, wonder, and the desire for understanding in visual language.

Painting is a space for the unspoken to have a voice, and where the dismantling of linear history and time occurs. Circular time, the displacement of dominant power structures, the voices of the unheard and the unknown meet in the power of imagined places; these elements infuse and inform my work’s visual instabilities and sensations of motion within which I hope to produce powerfully evocative spaces. A sense of stillness pervades the work despite dynamic activity, a space to grow in understanding and empathy.

Cross references between painting and weaving are explored in my handwoven ryijy tapestries and small loom weavings. Using bold colours, tonal shifts, and organic and geometric pattern, I employ a range of colour palettes in wool, linen, silk, hemp, and cotton yarns to build the designs. My goal is to help transform the ryijy into a contemporary art form. 
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