Kyla Dante - Artist in Leeds - My Biography
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What I do

I take un-primed canvas out into the land and I wait, I go quiet and listen. I absorb and then I act, evoking a response using the natural materials available on location. A dialogue forms between the place, the materials, history, emotions, the physical experience and myself. I work in many materials, feeling my way, responding in the moment. Sometimes I use resonant sound instruments to introduce a dynamic to the relationship between the sound, the place and myself.

Every form in nature is echoed in us and originates in the soul who’s being is eternity
H. Hesse from Demian.

There is to me a spiritual significance in studying and drawing from the natural world. Each tree, flower and animal, all forms linked but unique expressions of the divine. Our spiritual dimension needs developing, I search for my own way to understand life and I explore ways of reconnecting the last threads of our sacred relationship to the earth. Consumerism is devouring all we have and our ethics are completely scrambled. No amount of consuming can fill the need I have for a depth of connectivity with life and nature. My art is the tool I use to access this place.

I have a large body of artwork that includes large earth worked canvases that resemble ancient manuscripts and are shaped by the earth and time. Earth books made of canvas, buried and worked in the land and made in dialogue with the landscape. I produce oil paintings that are made in response to my need for a sacred connection to nature and the environment and become visual poems. All of the work I make including my work with sound comes from an intimate exploration of my relationship with life, nature and environment. The process of working in this way becomes a form of practical prayer, weaving ceremony and reverence into my life and work.

Song of a silver birch

In the studio

My paintings and studio work are concerned with absorbing the essence and energy of the elements and time in the landscape. Memory and experience play out on the canvas. Oil paintings and mixed media works on canvas and paper combine the themes gathered in the land. The figure and studies from life inform me of our interplay with the world around us, the human drama etched into our skin and the landscape each one of us becomes.

Natural materials

The use of earth materials attempts to emulate the experience of being in the land and embrace the context and inspiration offered by the natural environment.

I go out into the landscape and work on location recording the natural environment using earth materials present. I visit a diverse range of locations with the aim of recording the different qualities each place has to offer.

Whilst on site I make observational notes mapping the experience through words and diagrams, noting colours, sound, movement, direction of water, sky, growth and so on. The things I record are constantly present in the environment and the language I use is simple. I record and document shapes, sky, stone, layers of time, and the effects of the elements on the environment. When working out in the land I decided to use what was at hand, and to let the materials of the land speak direct through the fabric of the canvas.

More abstract pieces are made by allowing the canvas to interact with the surroundings, whether that is water, as in the river piece, or earth, as with the buried pieces. These works allow nature to make an imprint on my work while enabling me to witness processes that occur and this then informs any later interventions.

Fog Haven