Erika Knerr is an artist and graphic designer who is currently the publisher of New Observations magazine. Her paintings, performance, installations and action works have been included in one person and group exhibitions and festivals internationally, including Live Action New York, 2010 and Mediations Biennale in Poznan, Poland in 2008. She was one of the principal artists with Lance Fung Gallery through 2003 and served as art director of New Observations magazine in New York from 1991-2001. She was born in Lancaster, PA and received a BFA from Tyler School of Art, in Philadelphia and received MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She lives and works in Western Massachusetts and New York.
The Sun Portraits are a hybrid of Erika Knerr’s studies in solar technology, Shamanism and Buddhist meditation. The essential characteristics of shaman are mastery of energy as a medium of transformation. She is studying indigenous healing rituals, and working with healers and mythic archetypes from South American and Hawaiian lineages. When she moved from NYC in 2006, she became directly involved with the renewable energy community in Western Massachusetts and co-founded two Solar Energy companies in Hatfield, Massachusetts. The relationship between Solar Energy and Invisible Energy Medicine began to overlap in her mind and she became interested in translating “the Invisible” on canvas. She began working with the “Sun” as subject matter in her painting practice.
The paintings are created through a process using yellow powdered pigments, binder, thinned acrylics, inks, wine, dyes, coffee, teas and other natural liquid dyes on canvas. Paintbrushes have been replaced with large pelican and turkey feathers. Ritual in collaboration with art making, is a necessary act of recovering from the 200 year war on nature kept alive by the paradigm of capitalism and the industrial revolution. Her work represents the opportunity for a radical shift in consciousness. One that recognizes the SPLIT nature of the perception of our time, an awareness of the great divide between Mind and Body. When in fact Mind is the 6th sense making them inseparable.
Each Sun Portrait speaks of the changing vibration of our Sun as a living being, existing at any given moment. Chance is an important part of the process. Accident, authorship and sacred space all arise to engage in a musical structure of visual imagery in play with the maker and the viewer. She is posturing an image of hopefulness and sanity in contact with an essential relationship with our environment.
Great Eastern Sun, painting, Acrylic, ink, coffee, wine with feathers stokes on recycled canvas, 68x68, 2010
Icarus, Acrylic ink coffee wine and feather on canvas, 68x68, 2011