As an artist, I am poised between two worlds; one is the tangible reality I experience on my way to the studio, and the other is the world of possibility in which my sculptures live. I travel between the two, between the physical present and the imaginative future, bringing dreams down to earth, shaping unfamiliar creatures to life. I am a channel, guided by unseen forces of my environment and personal relationships, as well as formal aesthetic concerns. My sculptures use me as a vehicle, communicating their need to grow in a certain direction through my hands.
They become like landmarks, artifacts of another universe, memorabilia from a vacation to another dimension. At times, I imagine my sculptures are visiting us, taking in our sights to bring back to their home planet, carrying the most scenic views on their shells as proof they had seen it. We are just another dimension, another version of reality, another galactic attraction to visit and explore. They notice and record events and places we overlook, adding and recombining imagery on their surfaces as we do in dreams. In the alternate Pompeii, a language of pictures communicates the subconscious on the surface so that these shell-dwelling creatures never struggle to explain their experience. Out of the things we take for granted, a new story emerges.
My influences range from ancient Greek mythology to Eastern philosophies of spiritual transformation. I am interested in depicting the human experience using charged symbolism through which anyone can immerse themselves into a myriad of metaphorical possibilities. Through the back door of the subconscious, I find escape routes from the mundane. I tap the origin of my dreams to extract the elixir of a new understanding and a bright future.
2012 Grand Prize, "Big Fish: Small Teapot," American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA
Finalist, "Niche Award," Philadelphia, PA
2011 Third place, "To Go," Mendocino Art Center, Mendocino, CA
2009 The Leslie Ceramics Award, 2009 California Clay Competition, Davis, CA
2004 Honorable mention, Minnesota State Fair, Minneapolis, MN
2003 Graduate Partnership Scholarship Award, U of MN, Minneapolis, MN
Joel and Aja Ceramics Scholarship Award, U of MN, Minneapolis, MN
2002 Brown-MacKenzie Arts Scholarship, U of MN, Minneapolis, MN
1999 Second honor, Minnesota State Fair, Saint Paul, MN
1996 Second honor, Minnesota State Fair, Saint Paul, MN
First honor, Planetary Renaissance, Landmark Center, Saint Paul, MN
2004 MFA, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
1990 Bachelor of Fine Arts with Highest Honors,
Kiev Fine Arts College, Fine Arts and Graphic Design, Kiev, Ukraine
Natasha Dikareva is a sculptor and installation artist. She currently lives and works in San Francisco, California.
Dikareva's sculptural work transforms clay and metal into totems of the imagination. Her columns, cages, eggs, and human forms are simultaneously recognizable and ambiguous. What appear to be abraded, corroded surfaces bear the passage of time and refute it as well. The multivalent forms bespeak the beginnings of Western civilization — its ancient sites, its mythology, its cross-cultural influences — and address our contemporary attempts to reclaim a spiritual center in the past. "I try to challenge the viewer's perception and create a sense of mystery," Dikareva explains, "so when the viewer walks into the space he is immersed into a myriad of metaphorical possibilities."