I Did Not Steal From Wanda Koop | by Marina May Raike
I seem to have experienced a probability shift in my art practice and am currently painting landscapes, which I hope you'll see at the Ten Collective exhibition this April. For me, this is a cohesive continuation of my previous work which includes abstract and astronomical paintings.
Because landscapes are simply this planet, seen up close.
I made the first painting of the new series while staying up late after my vernissage at Fairview Manor last October. The show, entitled 'Recollection’ had been a really positive experience. I wanted more: more paint, and more paintING. The result is somewhere between an abstract and a landscape. I'd done these before and sold most of them in 2017-18 through Artbomb. www.artbombdaily.com
But the one that came after was different. Whereas the first had a sort of postmodern David Bierkian quality, this had slightly more discernible imagery. When it was completed, It surprisingly reminded me of Wanda Koop, whose work I love. It's not derivative of Koop's style, but it does partake of something akin to her sensibility. I think it's a kind of surreality or super reality within normalcy.
Subsequent tableaus depict scenes of Ontario's lakes and bays with the majestic rocky shores of The Shield. Two of them reference my mother's lands: Lake Nipissing, her birthplace, and Georgian Bay, her childhood home. These are breathtakingly beautiful places, where her family lived in abject poverty with no electricity, or running water. I feel more connected to this part of myself now through the paintings. There's something nostalgic and wonderfully unnerving in them; places where there may be danger or delight. The formations have been there for 4.3 billion years, yet you don't know what might happen in the next instant. I feel a longing to go to there in a small boat - maybe a kayak or a canoe, like my grandfather did.
For now, my brush and pigments will transport me.
Postscript: I've recently decided to retire my nom de plume, Malvada, and reclaim my father's family name: Raike. Going forward, I'll sign my work Marina May Raike. Dad was raised in Hamilton, which has a thriving art scene, but in my opinion, mostly unattractive scenery. Growing up, I had a lot of contact with my paternal (English Welsh) side, and almost no contact with my maternal roots. We visited Grandma and Grandpa Raike often, but I've never met my mother's father, who disappeared on a scouting expedition when she was a child.