The first time I saw Elena Mary Siff’s mixed media collage, “The Thorny Road of Honour”, I was instantly transported to nights during my childhood when my mother would read books to me before bed. I would snuggle into my blankets and pillows and listen intently as she would read the story, but before she would turn a page, I would make her let me examine every detail of each picture. This undeniable fascination is exactly what Siff inspires with her intricate and vividly fantastical pieces of art.
At first glance, her vibrantly colored imagery might come across as simply whimsical, like a landscape from a fairytale, but upon further inspection, it becomes clear that each space and figure within the frame carries its own significance and contributes to the depth of the piece. Siff poignantly describes her work as the interpretation of “the mystery, the humor, and the threat of [her] dreams.” She says that, “like a beachcomber or a scavenger wandering among the ruins, [she collects and juxtaposes] bits of disparate material, creating [her] own order.” Her uncanny knack for knowing exactly how to create something cohesive and enchanting out of seemingly disconnected images is abundantly clear in “The Thorny Road of Honour.”
The dreamscape includes a variety of flora and fauna, a tower, a ship, a fortress, and sculptures. There is an ocean in the sky and a brightly colored vessel-like object that hangs in mid-air, but somehow it all makes sense and comes together to create a harmonious world that beckons to be explored. Luckily for me and other art-loving Angelenos, I can explore Siff’s work in person for hours on end at Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station. “The Thorny Road of Honour” is currently on display as part of Siff’s “Mixing Media” exhibit at the First Independent Gallery, also known as FIG, and can be viewed Wednesdays-Saturdays until October 4th.
Image courtesy of www.elenamarysiff.com.