Erika Sanada creates ceramic sculptures of bizarre creatures that “reflect the weird and the creepy” and her fascination with the the dark side. They have extra body parts such as multiple arms, legs, teeth and ears. These are how she expresses her sensitive mind. “There are two reasons I create misshapen and abnormal work,” she notes. “One is my bitter childhood and the second is my constant anxieties,” she notes.

Regarding her new show, entitled Wonder, Sanada shares: “My work is about everyday anxieties and I use animals in my work to represent myself. My work always features some oddities, this is me trying to get rid of anxieties from my body. I always overthink the unknown. Wondering about strange things usually provides me knowledge and inspiration. However, sometimes I become fixed on it which leads to constant anxiety. In my show Wonder¸ I focus on my own wonder and curiosity.”

When I was young, my friends ignored and bullied me. As a result, I stayed indoors and watched supernatural movies and animations. They helped me escape from reality and gave me power. These movies showed main characters using magic to turn others into freakish animals and insects. This transformation inspired me to make work that reflected the images that I saw in those movies and animations. I have had an anxious personality since I was a child. I worry about everything, even tiny things. Anxiety drags my mind to the dark side, which is more powerful and intense than my bright side. Sometimes I can’t move forward because I am emotionally paralyzed. I decided to go face-to-face with my anxieties by creating irregular and eerie creatures representing my dark side. As a result, these creatures show my twisted mind as I try to overcome anxiety through my creation.”