* The copyrights for use of the photographs belong to Sparkasse Holstein.


CONTEMPLATION: Dreams are revelations of the soul 

Thoughts on the visual world of Natalia Dinsel-Bondarenko

With the exhibition CONTEMPLATION, in German “Betrachtung”, at Kunstraum Hamburg, the Ukrainian painter Natalia Dinsel-Bondarenko, who lives in the Hanseatic city, makes a powerful statement after two years of the pandemic. Her total of 28 works shown here deal, as before, primarily with mental states. Each painting is something like a painted answer to a question like this: How and why do past experiences influence my emotional life? Or: What do my dreams say about me?

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The artist faced such and similar considerations with particular dedication during the phase of forced withdrawal. It is no coincidence that she gave the collected works of this two-year creative period the name CONTEMPLATION. These works of particular depth and radiance are the result of an intense introspection, they are insights gained in the artistic act – from the question to the answer.  The search for the solution did not take place on the cognitive level, but with the power of her soul and heart. Thus, each dialogue with the canvas becomes a meditation, a “sinking in” or as already said: a contemplation of the inner experience in an almost trance-like state. The artist’s sophisticated technique also contributes to the special effect of the paintings: Layer by layer she reveals her sensations, banishes the invisible, the unspeakable, the inexplicable onto the canvas, weaves the individual layers into new dimensions of knowledge. In this way, and only in this way, each work becomes an abstraction of emotional states that Natalia Dinsel-Bondarenko has lived through, perhaps also suffered through, in the process of painting, in order to emerge at the end mature, purified and strengthened from this mental tour de force. Two examples illustrate this intensive creative process. MEMORIA and REAL ILLUSIONS trace the connection between an objective event and its reception: Whether I react positively or negatively, joyfully or fearfully, is often related to experiences and imprints from childhood. With sensitive coloring, her intuitive, layered approach, she penetrates in both works to the core of her own experiences, in which she lets us participate. The insight here is also: Only those who face their feelings, get to the bottom of them, believe in their dreams, find redemption and, in the end, happiness and inner peace.

The artist’s career is as unique and unusual as her work. At first glance, Natalia Dinsel-Bondarenko does not fulfill any of the expectations of an artist’s biography. With a degree in business administration, she never attended an academy, but acquired her craft herself. Her only, relentless teacher was her own aspirations: “Only when I can depict 100 percent of what I feel at the moment of painting does the picture have its meaning,” she once said in an interview.

The consistency with which she devotes herself to the depths and shallows of the human soul makes her an artist of international relevance. In July 2021, one of her works was shown at the London Art Biennale, and Forbes magazine Monaco recently devoted a long feature to her. Natalia Dinsel-Bondarenko had lived in France for a long time before settling in Hamburg with her family in 2013. In France she had discovered painting for herself, in Hamburg she has developed as an artist. It is to be wished that she is not only internationally noticed, but also finds the recognition she deserves in her adopted country. This exhibition will hopefully contribute to that.

Translated with (free version)

Hedda Möller

Solo-Exhibition, 08.2021, Hamburg

London Art Biennale 2021:

FINGERPRINT was selected and exhibited at one of the most important events in the art scene, the London Art Biennale.

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