Encaustic on Wood
36 x 36
Anastessia Bettas Artist Statement for Journeys in Japan
Elaine Fleck Gallery
FEBRUARY 24 - MARCH 11, 2019
My practice engages an ongoing investigation into the topography of remote landscapes juxtaposed with urban sprawl and the loss of open space. I create dreamlike imaginary territories by capturing the energy and tension between geographical areas using grids to evoke maps, satellite images, architectural structures and migration.
These paintings were created as a reaction from my trip to Japan last summer. The first half of 2018 left me emotionally and mentally drained after losing two family members a month apart. My trip to Japan was planned as an anniversary celebration but it became a journey of healing which was unexpected. After travelling around the country visiting historical and religious sites, I returned home with a renewed sense of inner peace and regained my focus and energy. This became my motivating force to produce paintings to share my personal response to these extraordinary places.
“Torii Gate”36”x 36” Encaustic on wood panel; 2019
Juxtaposed to this energetic vibe, Toyko is home to almost 1500 shrines offering an oasis of tranquillity within this fast-paced city. Torii gates, brightly painted in orange or red, mark entrances to Shinto shrines. These gates represent doorways between the secular and sacred worlds. Red was used to protect the shrines against evil spirits and bad luck. The most magnificent gate I visited is at the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima, Hiroshima. The shrine is famous for its “floating” gate and offers one of the most iconic views in Japan.