Yona Yurwit – “Intertwined” colored pencil and pen on paper

Yona Yurwit   – “Intertwined”  colored pencil and pen on paper

I’m interested in connections, both between people and between people and the rest of creation. Above all else, I value art that reminds us of our duties to each other and to the world, redefining who is included in our idea of “us.” I work with a mandala-inspired form that prominently features concentric circles to represent how life on Earth is connected by big cycles, especially cycles of life and death. I often treat each ring of the circle as a slice from a separate universe: shadows and light, for example, might not carry over from one part of the drawing to the next. Through juxtaposition, I suggest a narrative between ideas and creatures we hold separate in our minds. I play with both patterns, both visual and functional.

My hope is to inspire the viewer to seek connections between ostensibly unrelated systems –because in reality every-thing is connected, and that connection is what keeps the cycle of life going– and reinvigorate childlike wonder. Each piece is a form of prayer: I think about the creatures I’m drawing and how they enable me to exist, and I pray that the fragile connections between all things hold. I think about my own eventual death and meditate on what systems and creatures my body will feed, and I pray to remember and find peace in that fact.This is what comes to mind when I think of “life after death.”


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October 10, 2017