|GALLERY About the Artist Contact Information|
Ancient peoples and cultures speak a modern language in the sculptural work of Ilena Grayson. Her animal forms and shamanic shapes recall preliterate images meant to serve and inspire. Fetishes, spirit forms and architectural references bring contemporary spirituality to archetypal images.
Ilena gradually grew into her role as a builder of clay and mixed media forms. Having been raised in Colorado and living in New Mexico briefly in the early 70s, the spectacular vistas, subtle colors and diverse cultures of these states left a lasting impression on her. While living in Florida, classes in ceramics and art history earned her Masters Degree at the University of South Florida. She exhibited in the famous Gasparilla Art Fair and the Ringling Museum Show, but it was when she saw her first large pit fired hand built vessels that Ilena knew she had to return to the sensibilities of living in Southwest.
Fortunately, a move back to Albuquerque, after an absence of eight years, returned her to the roots that would nourish her art. She became President of the New Mexico Potters Association, exhibited in galleries and fairs and had her work chosen for the permanent collection at the Albuquerque International Airport. As a member of the national organization The Society of Layerist in Multi-Media, her work has been exposed to a larger audience with exhibits around the United States and Mexico, Great Britain and France.
Ilena’s sculptures, often decorated with kinetic golden links, are references to past civilizations but glow with a patina that speaks both of modern formation and the aging of time. Inspired by South American museum pieces she sought to convey a history and mystery through the use of paints. Her newer mixed media works incorporate more texture and colors to expand the references and move them into the everyday. Each of her works serves as a vehicle to encounter the spiritual and act as a bridge through time.