OCTOBER 13 – NOVEMBER 11, 2018

Helikon is pleased to present ‘Anomaly,’ a solo show of new works by Portland-based artist Yellena James. To view a painting by Yellena is to enter into a whimsical world of possibility: shapes and patterns emerge in endless layers, growing out of one another and inviting the viewer to find their origin, to follow along their journey. The compositions appear organic, as if a seed were dropped into a dish of growing solution and burst into hundreds of vibrant organisms, ever-expanding and lush with fecundity.


“The connection with the other exhibit in the gallery, “The Great War,” is my hometown of Sarajevo, where World War I was sparked with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. I went through a civil war in that very same town from 1992-1995. During this time I started going to art school. It was good to focus on continuously create while everything around me was being destroyed. Through this experience, my artwork evolved into the search for beautiful imaginary worlds where something delicate could survive and boldly thrive amidst their dark surroundings. With the encroaching backdrop of chaos and enveloping darkness, these bright and colorful forms appear vivid and alive.”

Yellena James is a Portland based artist, originally from Sarajevo, BiH. Preferring pens, inks, gouaches and acrylics, she combines complex abstract forms into dazzling images which take on lives of their own. Her colorful arrangements of organic shapes and tangled lines are at once floral and alien, organic and sci-fi. Each intimate world she creates seems to posses its own ethos and its own special ability to radiate emotion.

The latest works explore alluring imaginary life forms and terrains, balancing a bright and colorful palette with dark, rich backgrounds. Experimenting with painting on resin and creating multi-layered ecosystems of biomorphic shapes, each panel explodes with kaleidoscopic flora and offers an expansive glimpse into the fantastical  imaginary worlds. 


October 13, 6-10pm

First Friday
November 2, 6-10pm

Shown simultaneously alongside The Great War: 100 Years After World War I in the main gallery

Available Works

We offer payment plans on all work! Take up to 3 months with no extra fees or interest. Email info@helikongallery.com if you’d like to discuss options.

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Exhibit Imagery