Collage art allows me to execute feelings and ideas about nature, space, technology, and the unknown. My process begins by searching through thrift stores and antique shops for old, musty books or magazines. I meticulously go through each one looking for images, colors, or textures that stand out to me. I search for elements that present a certain feeling that seems to only exist in vintage photographs. My end goal is to create a space of lonesome awareness, an uninhibited exploration of what it means to exist, and a land of unknown vastness, a realm where the strange flourish and the mundane fuses with the extraordinary.
Yuri Ozaki grew up in a small town in Mie Prefecture on the Kii Peninsula of Japan. The area is known for its unique wet climate and mystical history. This area also features UNESCO World Heritage registered sacred sites and pilgrimage routes. The beauty and mystery of her home region has been a strong influence on Ozaki’s work. Her favorite subjects have been woodland scenes in the Tennessee Valley as well as her coastal hometown in Japan. Most recently, she has been experimenting with her own imaginary world based on scenes of decay and renewal in nature. She feels connected to her subjects through the texture of watercolor on paper.
Ozaki has been accepted to several national juried shows since 2010 where she has garnered several awards. She is a signature member of the Watercolor Society of Alabama and North East Watercolor Society.
I’m interested in the crooked lines that house the human experience and being. In my work, I explore the issues of gender role, inequality, and the disappearance of individuals over time and space. The fictional worlds I manufacture from paint, antique photographic images, and mixed medial materials are my chosen route for investigating and understanding the complexity and absurdity of the world around and within us. My work often has elements of transparency, fading, distortion, and eeriness. These elements are an expression of the transitory nature of life and death and other existential questions. The works are frequently large scale, sometimes larger than life, and this quality encourages the viewer to take notice of these long and forgotten individuals from the past, to reconsider the lives and likenesses of people who are no longer even memories for anyone currently living. I’m not content to simply memorialize the dead, but instead invite us to question our own mortality and desire to be remembered.