As an emerging artist who is still experiencing an unsettled change in style and content, I understand that this change is as exciting as it is terrifying—like a creative puberty. It is one thing to observe such a change while in its midst, but there is nothing quite as mesmerizing as viewing this metamorphosis as it happens to someone else.
Sara Syverhus is an artist who is just now finding her voice both artistically and personally. From heartache to self-discovery, Syverhus’ work chronicles a road that all artists at some point must travel. The road in which we realize that sometimes the only way to express ourselves is to create a safer world where we can heal and grow without judgment. In the case of Syverhus’ solo exhibition Crystal Vision at the Fox Den Salon on Friday, December 13, her healing takes place in a world of be-speckled skies and creamy star trails.
While her settings are often solemn, her heroines seem to be captured in the process of figuring out where they are, how they got there, and what they will do next. Syverhus’ maidens at times also double as the infinite dreamscapes that are the backdrops of her work. This makes them both the lonely travelers and the lonely paths they travel, but despite the loneliness they never turn away from the journey.
And yet there is also an innocent wisdom intercepting this introspective melancholy and uncertainty. An understanding that the situations we find ourselves in aren’t always as muddled in darkness as they may seem. In her Artist Statement Syverhus says “Crystal Vision is a reference to my journey as an artist and human, growing stronger, gaining knowledge, and forming this body of work. These pieces are my two dimensional crystals.” The story within these pieces seems to be that the universe is a lot bigger and weirder than we realize, but it’s okay because we’re all still learning; we are only as smart as what we are willing to learn.
And with that in mind, Syverhus paints the silver lining: brave little spirits who fight back against the big bad monsters, inner demons battling each other for supremacy, and women who become space queens in control of every element in nature. There are little bits of light illuminating the shadows in every supernova and diamond cluster she paints and every piece is a prism with which the invisible ray of bewilderment shines through to reveal a rainbow. That rainbow is there to remind you that someday soon everything will be okay, if you just let the light in.