Using vintage ephemera, acrylics, and ink, collage artist Theresa Esterlund creates mysterious compositions exploring concepts of identity and transformation. Her solo exhibit “Microcosms” will be on display September 6 – October 1, 2012 at The Art League Gallery.
Assemblage artist Joseph Cornell inspired Esterlund to begin this series, which has evolved to encompass her study and practice of yoga. Transformation and self-exploration, prevalent yoga concepts, are expressed in Esterlund's work through images of insects, birds, children, and women, all symbols representative of metamorphosis and change. Viewers make connections to their own personal narratives in relation to these intricate collages.
By layering antique maps, postcards, and photographs full of symbolism, Esterlund develops her own narratives relating to change and adaptation. The small scale of the pieces involved evokes an intimate relationship between artist, artwork, and viewer, while the similar background – most include a topographical map of Mount Everest – provides a common thread of self-examination and discovery.
Theresa Esterlund is a museum educator and holds degrees in Biology and Special Education from the College of William and Mary. She has been a participant in several group shows at The Art League Gallery in addition to exhibiting with various regional arts organization. She is the Manager of Interpretive Programming at the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC. and teaches yoga at Pure Prana Yoga Studio in Alexandria.