Ilya Volykhine - Boyhood Dreams

Kina NZ Design + Artspace is pleased to announce Boyhood Dreams, Ilya Volykhine's third solo show with the gallery.

These recent works represent an evolution of the genre Volykhine has honed over the past decade utilizing collage elements, often copies of personal letters or stories that have influenced him through the years and juxtaposing figures in strange situations with symbolism and iconic motifs.

“What lies at the heart of these paintings is my own intuitive process, a willingness and confidence to allow the story to unfold as I paint, with brushwork opening up space for my characters to breathe, to take on a life yet unexplored. This confidence of allowing the picture to speak for itself gives me time to understand my subject matter, and to invest each painting with emotion as each character confronts the vagaries of life and reflects their own view of the world. One that is both incisive, humorous and poignant.

I have just returned from a 3-month printmaking residency in the city of Tartu where I was able to use the Printmaking Museum's printmaking equipment. The residency culminated in an exhibition at the Tartu Printing Museum.

During this 3-month residency, I was able to have a break and travel to Russia. I have been outside of Russia since 1991 when it was still the Soviet Union. My family and I travelled by train on an amazing thirty two hour trip from St. Petersburg to Krasnodar and then 2 hours by car to Ust Labinsk. I was able to visit most of my family, my mother's sister is 91 and it was so important for my wife and son to see where I'm from and meet them.

We walked the streets I walked from when I was 7 years old. I showed my son my favourite fishing hole. The trees I’d climbed. We rode the bumper cars and the swinging chairs that have been in the small town park and are still there now. I stirred the pot of Boyhood Dreams that had been undisturbed for a good long time. It felt so good to open that and share it.

Many of us like to think we are still young at heart. A youthful spirit suggests a certain freshness, an unselfconscious exuberance. I am interested in these places, the objects, almost like a boyhood dream, the impossibilities. I am also interested in how others interact with the work, how they assign their own personal stories to the experience”.

This exhibition embraces the power of human imagination and the vast possibilities in visually interpreting our fantastical childhood imaginings.

The gallery will host an opening reception on Friday 19th May from 5-7PM.