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Illustration

Kristina Kapeljuh

Born in Ukraine, a citizen of Hungary, a student of Scotland, Switzerland, and finally, England. Throughout my life, there has been continual mobility. As a consequence, metamorphosis, movement and fluidity are the key concepts that create the foundation of my current practice. At its core, my work explores ideas of contemporary metaphysics while reflecting the intensity and pattern of materiality in flux. I am fascinated by the relationship between materiality, time and form that are communicated through diverse imagery. A hybrid between printmaking, intuitive drawing, and digital media embodies the communication of these ideas. 

A transdisciplinary approach to creative practice has brought my work to diverse contexts. Work has been exhibited in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Lucerne, Moscow, London and Shanghai. My ambition is to continue this mobility in the future outside of the Euro-centric bubble. I aim to expand my visual language through engagement with Eastern philosophy and culture, in particular Japanese printmaking. Juxtaposed with my understanding of the world from a Western perspective, I anticipate that this new context would enrich and challenge my practice. In my expanded illustration practice, I hope to explore and create new narratives between science, ecology and design through artist residencies.

Degree Details

School of Communication

Illustration

My work at the RCA has changed drastically. At the RCA I have developed a multisensory methodology to speculate on metaphysics, in particular symbolic meaning of difference, such as the difference between mind and matter.

My work utilizes multidisciplinary media including experimental printmaking, sound and moving image, and is informed by contemporary anthropology and philosophy. This approach to my creative process is directed towards exploring new narratives in the gap between metaphysics and art. 

The rapid shift in my practice has been provoked by the Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic has influenced my understanding of tactility and the meaning of engagement with materiality. It has revealed the importance of physicality for my practice. In the tension between my experiences of online learning and my passion for printmaking, in between the obscure meta-space of the digital and physical, the Liquid Lens project has been born.

My project is a manifesto of entangled co-existence with matter in three chapters. It reflects, speculates, fluctuates, arbitrates, circulates, and questions the space between metaphysics, materiality, art, and the chemistry of experimental printmaking. The speculative narrative on the materiality of ice melting is anchored by a printmaking technique – screen printing, aquatint and lithography – offering a contextualizing framework and a lens through which to think. From vibrations of zinc to ice and acid melting on the plate, my work attempts to employ multidisciplinary methodologies at the intersection between philosophy and art, through matter.

At the RCA I have also become a part of the Talk Shop. We’re a student group from the Visual Communication program, born from the process of establishing our practices and situating our work professional spaces.

For an RCA 2021 Show Talk Shop will be leading a conversation with Alec Dudson, founder of Intern. We will discuss the difficulty of accessing creative freedom and fulfillment in our creative studies while feeling bound by external pressures, such as immigration concerns, financial pressures and the perspective of a challenging and highly competitive job market.

This event will be taking place virtually on the 25th at 10:30. We hope to see you there!


Fragmentation

Fragmentation is a starting point for Liquid Lens. Screen printing is an evocative framework through which the example, an ice cube, becomes a subject matter of phenomenological narrative. From symbolic implication of the gray to dualistic systems in Western philosophy, the narrative circulates around complex issues of anthropocentric perspective on materiality, animism, and interobjectivity. It is closely connected to the visual movement of the lens directed at the narrated print. The voice of the narrator is often interrupted by speculative thoughts, as ice cracks. The narrative is fractured by the amplified sounds of the print process, inferring the fluctuation of thoughts. Through such devices of conflict, narration is tethered to the materiality of screen printing, disturbing the static print towards an image in flux.

Medium:

Video

Size:

4.07 min.
Movement

After distilling questions through screen printing, the narrator finally positions themselves as a spectator. The narrator identifies as a first person (in their use of the personal pronoun ‘I’) when recognizing the beauty of the melting ice. The grain of the voice accompanied by the movement of the camera’s gaze around the zinc plate follows the trace of melting ice cubes. The sound of the zinc vibration is recorded as the voice of matter, its materiality not a tool but an active collaborator. If in the Fragmentation chapter sound and voice conflict in attempts to grasp attention, in Movement they start to acknowledge each other and resonate.

Medium:

Video

Size:

3.33 min.
Symbiosis

Symbiosis is the final chapter and draws together the threads of a resolution, by zooming out from the image. Here the narrator shifts from singularity to collective ‘we’, as an acknowledgement of symbiosis with matter. Camera gaze zooms out to demonstrate a holistic system and conclusion built on Fragmentation and Movement. If in the first two chapters there was a passive record of the vibrating or fragmenting matter, in the final chapter the sound is produced by moving the ice cube around the zinc plate in circular motion.

Medium:

Video

Size:

4.02 min.
Ice, copper, acid — Aquatint etching 40x60 cm
Zinc, acid, ice — Aquatint etching 20x40 cm
Ink, water, oil — Screen print 27x40 cm
Ice and tusche — Lithography 50x70 cm
Ice fragments — Screen print 27x40 cm
Cube — Screen print 27x40 cm