Alexa Bjerknes

I am an emerging artist, who emphasizes the beauty of nature and wildlife, while bringing awareness to the environmental struggles that our natural ecosystems endure. My artistic practice is inspired by my connection with nature and animals. I spend most of my time outdoors, as I am an owner of three horses, a cat and a dog. My oil paintings focus primarily on depicting animals, particularly dogs and horses, in unexpected ways to emphasize struggles. I am capturing a moment in time, in which, the horses and dogs may be seen as if they are playing or fighting. Although I have a plan for my artwork, I work in an active and organic manner, making visual decisions on the spot. This parallels my belief of art and life being an ongoing, experiential learning process. I have applied the paint in thin layers emphasizing movement with the brushstrokes. Some parts are faded out or translucent, while other parts are more defined, which reflects the animals struggle for survival. 

For years, horses have been seen as a symbol of freedom, power, beauty and travel. They were eventually replaced by machines, but the emotional and therapeutic connection horses have with humans is irreplaceable. Dogs are a symbol of loyalty and faith, and are unfortunately often forced to fight in order to live. There exists a hierarchy of importance in society, where humans exist at the top, so animals are forced to fit into certain expectations and criteria. Therefore, I have made the conscious decision to illustrate the absence of all human life. People often turn to their domesticated animals for love, comfort, companionship and entertainment. Our beloved animals cannot make change, but they are often the reason we make change.

Queen's University. Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduation Class of 2020