May 3 - June 9, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 3, 6:00–9:00pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, May 5, 2:00pm
Coldstream Fine Art is pleased to present Valkyrie Ink, an exhibition of new work from Reka Nyari, whose black-and-white photography has been widely recognized for its bold yet elegant treatment of the feminine form. Valkyrie Ink follows Geisha Ink, a series of work also focusing on a young woman defiantly clad in tattoos, but introduces Eowyn and her story of trauma and recovery. Eowyn’s difficult journey is elegized through her skin, which is marked not only by tattoos but also through scars—all sediments, deliberate or not, of a personal history.
Rather than investigate Eowyn’s skin as a self-contained body of mythology, Nyari identifies the project of narrative-crafting as an ongoing project, actively engaging herself with it. Eowyn is clad in the style of the legendary valkyries, only foregoing a suit of armour; her skin is her armour, and her scars are indices of her resilience. Here Nyari synthesizes the various interrelated threads spun into her work, with photography binding together ink, performance and craft through the figure of Eowyn.
As with Nyari’s previous series, Valkyrie Ink further refines her practice of highly polished studio photography, informed by her knowledge of the commercial repertoire. The starkly lit body of Eowyn looks as if it floats in front of the black background, and every subtle outline of her form stands out clearly. Although Nyari’s photography is clearly governed by formal aesthetic principles, she does not allow these guidelines to supersede the affective potential of her work. Instead, she brings a honed eye to the process, adding another aesthetic dimension to the greater narrative and myth of her subject.
Valkyrie Ink is presented as an open exhibition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.