The classical approach towards art is built around the idea of harmony. However, the concept of interconnection—the relationship between things—is still of interest today for young artists like Harper Veresiuk.
Looking at Harper’s images, one cannot help but notice a possibly unplanned resemblance with the aesthetics of the works by 16th-century Flemish artist Joris Hoefnagel (1542-1601). Joris was a gifted miniaturist known for his still lifes with amazingly accurate nature studies; regarded as the creator of one of the earliest samples of still life as an independent image. Placing flowers, insects and mice almost symmetrically on neutral white background, he gave them slightly heraldic symbolism and outlined their decorative, ornamental qualities that contrast the realism of their rendering. Some of the details of the featured watercolours by Harper points to a similar taste for trompe l’oeil details (a French term derived from the French “deceive the eye” for the illusionistic depiction of objects in painting). In this way, the artist combines anatomic elements (like brain and heart) with the minor visual accompaniment of figs, butterflies, and orange slices.
Harper artist positions her work to be a purely intuitive visual exploration and expression of her connection with mind and body. She explains, “Each piece represents my emotions during a stage in my life, without being able to fully understand it myself.” One of her mentors, David Jamieson, inspired this series. His extensive knowledge of anatomy nurtured her love and appreciation for the human form.
The author sees the pieces as subconscious selfportraits. Although the watercolours indicate no clear narration, they do contain deeply personal symbolism. Resultantly, the organic patterns point at the indivisibility of emotional and corporeal, challenging the common perception of our bodies as something separate from the mind. Seeking to eliminate that gap and demonstrate the connection of our minds with the substance of the tangible, she chooses the imagery of organs as the equivalent of her emotional processes.
Harper Veresiuk is a Chicago-based visual artist. She graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago. She has been participating in numerous fairs in the U.S. and abroad since 2014, namely, in the 3rd International Watercolour Biennial in Shanghai, China and the “All Watercolours” show at the International Watercolour Foundation. Her works were on display at the Trevimage Gallery in Rome, Italy. Harper was a member of the American Watercolour Society from 2012 to 2013 and, since January 2018, is a member of the National Watercolour Society.
Harper Veresiuk is the Bronze Artist of the ArtAscent Connections call for artists. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Connections issue.
Brava, Harper. As you know, I’m a huge fan of your work. Congratulations on being featured here.