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elissa cristall gallery presents


cover: Seclusion, 2016 resin & mixed media 5” x 4” x 2”

JESSICA KORDERAS New and Recent Work February 9 - 28, 2017

This publication was created on the occasion of Jessica Korderas’ first solo exhbition with Elissa Cristall Gallery in February, 2017

elissa cristall gallery © 2017

Jessica Korderas creates three dimensional dioramas that she meticulously constructs through painting and drawing, which are then cast, layer upon layer, into a block of resin. The process is slow, time consuming and unforgiving. Korderas’ work examines human desires, goals, fears, and failures, and how individual ideals are forced to coexist in one society often at odds with one another.

Describing her new series ‘cabins’, she comments “For a while I’ve wanted to play with identical spaces depicting widely varied scenes to explore differences and similarities between people’s lives. I chose a cabin because they have such strong and wild-ranging associations, and these pieces look at various tropes related to cabins. While the scenes are vastly different from piece to piece, the spaces, being identical, force them into the same world.”



Cabins can be symbols of isolation. This work takes a positive perspective on seclusion, privacy, intimacy and comfort.


Protection is based on a news video that went viral shortly after the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015 depicting a father trying to explain the situation to his son. The boy says that he is very frightened that they will have to leave France because of the ‘bad guys’. The Father tells him the flowers and candles are there to protect them and the boy feels much better.


Protection, inside cabin

Gumption is a dated term meaning resourcefulness, intelligence and courage. Two of the most common tropes related to cabins are hunting lodges (masculine associations) and quaint cottages (feminine associations). This piece is about how feminine strength is often overlooked or discredited. The elderly woman sits in her cottage, knitting and sipping tea under her flowery shawl, with her kill gutted and hanging by the fire.


Gumption, inside cabin


Cabins are often settings for horror stories. This piece, Apprehension, is influenced by a collection of stories in the folk-horror genre.


During an artist residency in Detroit Michigan in 2014, Korderas made a series of drawings exploring the ‘blight’ of Detroit. “I was there during the spring and was struck by the return of nature to such a metropolitan city. I saw the overgrowth of flowers and resurgence of wildlife as a symbol of hope for rebirth out of tragedy.”

Dereliction (outside cabin)


Dereliction (inside cabin)


Reflection is based on Korderas own memories of hot summer nights at a friend’s cottage watching whatever movie was playing on the three channels available. “Nothing makes me think of summer like fireflies and bats swooping around at night.”


Reflection (detail, inside cabin)






Medication (pages 26-27) This work uses women healers as a symbol of how female roles are not as valued as their male counterparts. Women in the past were unable to practice medicine but often had vast knowledge of herbal and natural remedies that were passed through matriarchal lines but were still viewed as suspicious. Most of the flowers in the front garden can be turned into poison. Precipitation (pages 28-29) Cabins are social spaces. Here a group of young friends have rented a cabin but are rained in, turning the bad weather in to an opportunity for a dance party.

Utopia 2 (pages 32-33) In this work Korderas examines the complexity of ‘utopia’. Ultimately, how we preceive, pursue and understand happiness is the root of utopian themes and what makes them so interesting. “What if one person’s ‘utopia’ is another’s ‘dystopia’? The buildings were created to exist in one ‘utopian’ world of my creation, though looking more ‘dystopian’ on first look.” Korderas references Tennesse Williams, Catherine I of Russia and Bernardo Bertolucci in what at first appear to be whimsical and saucy scenes of daily life. The depth of meaning in this work touches on provocative fashion for young girls, hiding homosexuality in a 1950s photo booth and a room for “the pleasure of being alone”.


Utopia 2


Dystopia 3


Where the futuristic vision in Dystopia #2 depicts the prediction of an advanced utopian society, Dystopia #3 shows what is more common today; destruction, chaos, war and death. Korderas pays homage to Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for trying to attend school and subsequently became an icon around the world for the importance of education. Here she is in a library surrounded by books representing her desire and determination to have an education. The red dots on the book on her chest suggest sniper dots, and can be illuminated when light comes through the windows of this library.


Jam Buds (Still: Steven Universe episode “Sworn to the Sword” (2015) The title of this piece is the name of the song being sung by the characters on the screen in this episode of the modern cartoon ‘Steven Universe’. The show has been widely praised for its smart writing and positive messages for children. Gender issues in particular are very prominent in the show. The child is intentionally androgynous for this reason, and is lost in his/her play room enjoying the show. This piece is about how much media can have a positive impact if done right. Messages that might be missing from their home or school can really have an impact of kids that feel like ‘outsiders’.


Horizontal Day

Still: Lolita (1962)

A term coined by a friend of mine for the days when you just laze around, eating junk food and watching movies. I chose to use two adolescent girls because I feel there is a lot of pressure on young girls and a lot of criticism for the ‘silliness’ of female friendship. The girls are barely watching the TV, it is more about them and their connection to each other. Watching Lolita, (and laying under the Lana del Rey poster) alludes to the hyper-sexualisation of young girls, and how it has nothing to do with anything the girls do, it is outside sources.


Netflix The phrase ‘Netflicks and chill’ has become heavily integrated into the dating world, and is a euphemism for inviting someone over to have sex. Here the couple is slightly obscured by the television, making the viewer peek around voyeuristically to see more of them. The screen is also screen obscured and it is not clear what exactly they are watching; which is of course incidental and not the real purpose of ‘Netflicks and chill’.


Bio Jessica Korderas received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in English from Mount Allison University in 2007. An emerging artist, Korderas is well on her way to establishing herself as a unique talent, captivating the public with her sophisticated use of acrylic resin. Korderas has participated in group and solo exhibitions since her graduation. Her inclusion in "Art with Heart", a juried fundraising event for Casey House in Toronto in 2009 and again in 2010 garnered her recognition within the art community. She was included in a public group exhibition titled, "inbetween", curated by Mireille Eagan, which exhibited at The Confederation Centre for the Arts, Charlottetown, PEI in 2009, and at The Doris McCarthy gallery in Toronto, ON, in 2011. She exhibited in 2013 at Galerie de l'UQAM in Montreal, QC, as part of 'Le Project Peinture/The Painting Project' curated by MarieEve BeauprĂŠ and Julie BĂŠlisle. Korderas received a creation grant from Nova Scotia's Communities, Culture and Heritage in 2012, another from Arts Nova Scotia in 2013 and 2015, and a project grant from the Canada Council for the Arts in 2013. She was invited to participate in her first artist residency in 2014 as part of the Canadian Residency project located in Detroit, MI.

Pricing Cabins, (2016-17) Resin & mixed media, 5” x 4” x 2”, $2500 /each Utopia #2, (2014) Resin & mixed media, 10.5” x 10” x 2”, $6500 Dystopia #3, (2015) Resin & mixed media, 13” x 7.5” x 2”, $7000 Jam Buds, (2015) Resin & mixed media, 5.5” x 4” x 2”, $2800 Horizontal Day (2015) Resin & mixed media, 5.5” x 4” x 2”, $3000 Netflix, (2015) Resin & mixed media, 5” x 4.5” x 2”, $3000

Additional two dimensional works are available in the exhibition.

Jessica Korderas Exhibition 2017  
Jessica Korderas Exhibition 2017  

Elissa Cristall Gallery presents Jessica Korderas first solo exhibition with the Gallery, spring 2017.