USI Student Artist, Inka Kobylanski on display at New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art

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The University of Southern Indiana’s New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art (NHGCA) is proud to present Ichor, a solo show highlighting the work of Inka Kobylanski. The show is open now and runs through April 29, with a public reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 1. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

The word ichor originates from Greek mythology as the ethereal fluid that is the blood of the Greek gods said to retain the qualities of the gods’ food and drink, otherwise known as ambrosia and nectar. Ichor was described as a yellow sticky liquid toxic to humans. 

In Ichor, Kobylanski explores themes of womanhood, religion, mental illness and the connection between the human body and nature. The works in Ichor reveal how often these themes intersect. Kobylanski depicts internal human structures such as organs, musculature and bones alongside natural imagery to comment on the complexity of their origins. Scattered within the imagery includes things toxic to humans, such as teratomas and hawthorn, all of which refer to mental illness. 

In Divine Dissection, Kobylanski uses the medium of quilting to reference labor traditionally seen as women’s work. The quilt contains several components that make up a whole, making it an inherent reference to the harmony of human biological makeup. A female musculature is displayed in the standard anatomical position, exposed on a level much deeper than the traditional female nude. Alongside the musculature are organs and cellular structures that harmonize with floral elements, questioning if womanhood is something biological or if it is something most are molded into. 

Inka Kobylanski is an interdisciplinary artist and USI student from Newburgh, Indiana. She believes anatomy is the carefully constructed flora of the body, with nerves branching out like roots to every leaf, every stem and every petal. She uses the female form and orchids as personal symbols of the connections between one’s physical body, mental self and the natural world. 

According to Kobylanski, “The discovery of self, pleasure and acceptance is anything but linear; pain may rear its filthy head in the face of progress. However, these are the structures of our very beings. They let us move. They let us partake in pleasure. Their repetitiveness connects us with the building blocks of nature.” 

New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art promotes discourse about and access to contemporary art in the southern Indiana region and is a proud outreach partner of the University of Southern Indiana.   

This exhibition is made possible in part by the Efroymson Family Fund, Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana and the Indiana Arts Commission, which receives support from the State of Indiana and the National Endowment for the Arts.