Mya Kerner is a multidisciplinary artist based in Seattle, WA. Through her practice, she extends her lineage of Eastern European foresters. In 2011, Mya received a BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture and Environmental Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. From 2012 to 2014, she worked primarily in cast iron sculpture, living nomadically, and periodically working for her family’s landscaping company. After moving to Seattle in 2015, she completed a Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design at Bastyr University, and now maintains a small garden design business alongside her full-time studio practice. As Mya explores ideas of memory and landscape, she pulls from her ancestral history, permaculture studies, and ecological concerns. Her visual art oscillates between two- and three-dimensions, investigating materiality, tradition, and myth through depictions of the landscape.
inward, then outward, guided by the space between stones.
I regard the mountains as stoic icons reflected by mortality, records of the movements of the earth and the torrents of the sky. They represent a collision, or maybe, a collaboration of the elements and forces of life. Though continuously rising or falling, the mountains stand, silent, weighing on the shifting fragments of the earth, moving at an incomprehensible rate. Within this subtle movement, we have forgotten that our civilization is a construct, an unstable foundation built from the rubble of deconstructed mythologies.
Interested in myth and the stories of the landscape, I wonder what memories the mountains hold. Records of denudation captivate me as these notes present a segmented image of the whole. I depict geological disruptions, carved moments and parts within the landscape. Mountaintops stand crisp against white, reaching for an infinite sky. Descending are scratched lines, which break through the slopes, while sections of white sit atop eroded surfaces, recalling cooler seasons. At the base, scattered about the viewer, rest fallen rocks, fragmented remnants and witnesses to some indefinable future.
I approach my paintings with turbulent, yet deliberate mark making. Mixing oil paint above and across graphite marks, I soften or exaggerate the edges within the landscape. In some areas, the imagery holds, stable, while across the scene, a moment of textural play denotes action, erosion or sliding. My wire drawings extrude the contours of the terrain, forming an interdependent framework. In both paintings and sculptures, line work carves a journey through stone, drawing a visual labyrinth and creating space for the viewer. The work depicts a fragile, interconnected tranquility, while whispering of unpredictability and grandeur far beyond human conception or control.
“[…] our world will go on through its rapid agonies of change and discovery; this age will die,
And wolves have howled in the snow around a new Bethlehem: this rock will be here, grave, earnest, not passive: the energies
That are its atoms will still be bearing the whole mountain above: and I, many packed centuries ago,
Felt its intense reality with love and wonder, this lonely rock.”
Photos by Sebastian Cvitanic, 2017