ARTisSpectrum Vol.36, May 2017

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 36 | 49 Stephen Najda Seated Nude with Blue Dog Ink on Paper 33” x 23.5” Clea von Döhren B orn in Hannover, Germany, Clea von Döhren discovered the arts at a young age, collecting pages from the monthly journal of art and literature her mother subscribed to. That journal, a fusion of written words and images, was a glimpse of the future. Now the author of three books—two collections of poems and one of short stories—as well as an internationally exhibiting artist, Clea weaves her work together with elements of Zen meditation, psychology, and ethnology. Though she occasionally sculpts with marble and sandstone, or creates pottery, Clea is primarily a painter, working her thick acrylics across canvas, linen, and wood. Over twenty years ago, after her divorce, Clea moved to a cottage in northern Germany where she could be alone with nature. There, she sought to evaluate her life through a feminist lens, ultimately concluding that she had to be true to herself, regardless of the consequences. The resultant work is rich with Clea’s desire to leave ego behind, capturing an exact moment and the power it wields. “I am very interested in the realities that exist beyond the visible world,” she says. “Reality is only an expression of the essence.” T he art of Stephen Najda explores the human form in all its complexity from a multitude of perspectives, ranging from the classical nude to abstraction, using a juxtaposition of vivid colour, delineating line, intriguing form and fluid brush strokes to create a powerful narrative. Many of the paintings at first appear impenetrable, but the ambiguity is the essence of the work. This is a voyage of discovery, an exploration of the primitive-self, exploring the boundary between imagination and subconscious dream, to produce an ‘abstraction of thought’. Najda calls this elemental art ‘quantism’. Najda’s art work engages the viewer in a mysterious narrative of sparse landscape with ambiguous human form creating a tension that provokes a wide range of humanistic, scientific, philosophical and intellectual questions. Najda describes this as ‘painting the unknown’. Najda was born in Glasgow, Scotland and currently shares time between Scotland and Poland. Often described as ‘Renaissance Man’, Najda is a polymath in science, literature and art. Najda’s exploration of art moves effortlessly across painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and video. Altai Acrylic & Oil on Canvas 31.5” x 39.5”