Words by Emma-Kate Wilson
Kris Ancog summons themes of peace and serenity in his Aurora Illuminata series, through a metaphorical human experience amid global chaos. Channelling light and energy from his own response, the artist reflects on how nature behaves and how art can interact with it.
First discovering the magic of the Aurora, Ancog realised its transcendence experience — even only through the digital realm. In lieu of not being able to see it in person, the artist set out to capture its magic through paint. He invites the philosophical effects of the light show, craving that charm and interconnectedness that humans seek out in our environment.
Ancog first started this series by accident, seven years ago, playing with paint and texture. The works originated as sunsets, but when the colour began to blend on the canvas, the artist switched the direction of the brush stroke application — Ancog started to see the lights flickering from within. When each artwork sold quickly, the artist realised that he wasn’t the only one encaptivated by the magic of the light. Now the Aurora collection is his most popular, as each one is different and unique, just as you see in nature.
Priming the canvas with a monotone colour, with five to ten thin layers of paint, Ancog creates translucent, luminous tones with mixed media and oil on canvas, adding depth revealing textural undertones. The paintings become alive with colour and texture from the paint application, blues and greens resembling the changing light composition. The artist adopts a flat, wide brush that at points reveals the painterly hand of the artist. As with the artists of the 20th Century French Impressionism, the human touch anchors the viewers’ perspective in real-time and connects them to Ancog’s energy and passion.
For the artist, the experience is a magical degree of transcendence, philosophically inviting impressions of light on the canvas — giving his audience the chance to witness the auroras. The Aurora collection brings you back to the magic, the ethereal moments, connecting us as those who see the work. Semi-abstract in style, the horizon with its flickering paint splatters offers the access point — embedding us within.
Ancog invites translucent tones that dance and reflect light as though they were the Auroras themselves. The artist creates his own light show within each layer of the painting. The viewer is welcome to see their personal experiences and memories on the canvas or give in to the paint, that is ever-changing throughout the day.
The Aurora collection adopts a visual storytelling methodology, capturing the landscapes’ emotions rather than physicality, revealing the lasting, lingering moments. The ones that call you back. Or take your breath away. As an exploration of space, in the midst of chaos, the artworks are a step back from the madness of our reality. The series is a chance to be transported out of our living rooms and homes, especially in a time where we are unable to. We are craving the magic. Art becomes an escape.