Kazakhstani artist Julia Ismambetova creates wonderfully expressive images, both decorative and abstract. Working in batik and silk painting, Ismambetova expertly combines all the wonder of this ancient craft with decidedly modern elements. Many of her pieces are inspired by the folklore of her native land — represented by horsemen, nomads, and landscapes — whereas others focus primarily on the synthesis of color, pattern and form. Yet Ismambetova’s unique sense of internal composition and rhythm results in a distinct style that has become a hallmark of her work.
Ismambetova’s creative process is inextricably connected to the medium in which she works. As she explains, “When working on each new batik, I open a new and unexpected direction for my expression, which is prompted by the material itself, and leads to the impulse to create new compositions.” Thus, the fabric emerges as a crucial element in the overall piece, intersecting with colors and forms in new and interesting ways. What results are highly synthesized paintings that reflect the possibilities inherent in the fusion of ancient and modern modes of expression.