My practice encompasses sculpture, video and sound. In video I am interested in exploring boundaries of image and object; the abstract and the figurative, and how the fragmenting of narrative can offer new possibilities of discourse; my work often seeks to reconfigure the familiar while making something-ness from nothing-ness; exploring the edge of thing-ness. I am interested in melding ‘real’ personal experiences with the ‘fictive’ experience mined from our collective consciousness in literature and cinema in particular. What may happen in feedback loops set up between those ‘fictions’ and ‘realities’?
I am engaged in painting, drawing, making videos and borderline actions of different disciplines. I often use ready-made objects and “found footage” in my videos. Old family stories are researched for my projects and complemented by these found or borrowed elements. In painting, I focus on simple, abstract form which is supported by the sign; in which, I try to smuggle content that could arouse different associations among recipients.
I am interested in finding a ruined or disused old industrial building, if such still exist in Katowice, and using the structure of what remains, and possible objects found there, to construct a piece of work, to be shown either on site or in the gallery, or possibly both. I will use casts of surfaces and incorporate them in a figurative work. I may pre-construct an armature to transport to Katowice and assemble there, and work with a method similar to that I employed to make the Amazing Disgraces, quickly building up a ‘skin’ on the armature.
London, UK and Ireland
My work seeks to create narrative through site-specificity and the process of meticulous making. I use found objects and materials to create collages, installations and sculptural forms that allude to personal memory or the history of a given space. I’m interested in boundaries and borders, and the relationship between different materials; how they intersect and also break down. Materials are often recycled in my work or used as ‘fragments’ to convey themes of displacement, change, hope and belonging.
London, UK and Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A
My work is focused on identity, memory and conflict, particularly the immutable line between Other and Self. In a widely multi-disciplinary practice that ranges between drawing, installation, and object-making to digital media and performance, I will often appropriate cultural artefacts of the Other; using story-telling tactics and subtle humour to remake a situation based on some kernel of truth, while allowing the viewer to create his or own narrative from these discrete elements.
My works encompass mainly painting and theatre but also drawing, lithography, sculpture. When it comes to painting, I often look for inspiration in nature and the world surrounding me. When I feel inspired by a certain scene, I try to process this image in my head so that the picture, which appears as a result of my artistic creation, vividly reflects all my emotions. What I find crucial is the impression, the visual experience one may have admiring my painting. Nature itself provides countless number of ideas and concepts, which just wait for the artist to evolve in his head. In my artistic creation, I am especially inspired by the wood or forest, the kind of mysterious space I can find there and the pounding rhythm of its life set by the trees.
I try to treat the picture as an interactive object. I’m interested in relations and influence which acts between artwork, creator and viewer. And the last are participants, performers or (co)founders of artwork-event. The viewer is appointed the object of his experience to existence-artwork and painting/picture is its visual act outgoing from specific material forms and incoming in relations with our body, which needs action, reaction, and a corresponding, cooperating environment. Necessarily the return activity makes it possible, because the visual act is not the only effect of artists action-unilateral record. Recognition as an act of visual image helps explain this performativity. Works are abstraction- they don’t tell a story or impose interpretation. They are like “mirrors’’ to show feelings and interpretations resulting from individual experience.
I consider art as a great travel and mean of articulation, which in its diversity can provide large scope of feelings and conclusions. Direct contact with nature is essential in my mind, where I find myself attracted to water as matter, as a medium. This interest in water came out of stark amazement, when I recently observed the effects of a strong spot light on water itself. In general liquid and its features offer wonderful, spontaneous and also surprising effects. I’m drawn to that mainly because with water, the artist cannot wholly control the work. Recently, I turned to the natural environment and most of my recent works comment on issues of nature or even, simply the documentation obtained from observation of nature are starting to propel my ideas.
A visual artist and performer, her paintings aim at provocation that initiates individuality and identity amongst people through their questioning subject in philosophy, transformation, and transition. Her paintings capture or define the momentum. Inspire and are inspired by the outer and inner worlds forming composition and non-composition. Philosophy creates an abstract or form depends in destruction and in expression the gap “in between”. Her performance practice is based on-site specific and time-specific investigations, working with impulses, responding and experimenting with subject matter in an abstract way. Her process includes improvisation arising from the “BUTOH BODY”, mapping space and time simultaneously responding to a perception and intuition within the rhetoric of minimalism.
I am interested in the a-typical and custom action. I base my work on traditional notions of the art and processing them so that they create the new surprising context. I try to question the common definitions of a picture, work of art, gallery or an art viewer. Projects carried out by me are a reaction to world surrounding me. Above al I am inspired by my surroundings: Polish village, as well historical, religious, and political issues.
My art practice is led by experimentation, preferring to make things I have never done before to become as skilful as professional of the new technique. Art is the wide space where we can play with objects, pictures, words, sounds, voices, and our body. Every medium is like a material from the various medias. I try to describe different experience and remain authentic to express my feelings and ideas. I listen to my intuition but at the same time, I am seeking to understand.
I see the narration as crucial and necessary attribute of our existence into which every element of the reality is clothed – from a nail to a city. Hence my works are equipped with a plot, often very personal one. I am inspired by stories, because I firmly believe in a text. I run both some private shamanic practices and diversionary activities in the city. I deal with a magical dimension of our existence, the simultaneity of the world, André Breton’s objective chance and subtleties of the reality. For me one of the strong clues is the surrealists’ concept so I often use work methods specific for artists of that formation. I am intrigued by the notion of linearity and the resulting consequences. One of the key means of expression for me is perseveration as a stubborn return to a certain content. A multitude of these themes abounds often with complex projects, responding to bothering me questions through various media which I often have to learn completely anew.
My practice mostly involves working with video as a medium. I make both narrative and non-narrative short video forms, including animation and video art. From technical point, combining sound and moving image creates a great space for experimentation and I find it very appealing. A great impact on my work has been my family ties, memories from the childhood as well as roots of my parent’s families which come from the countryside on the Southern-east of Poland and from Silesia. Lately, I am interested in using archives in my work such as old photographs and exploring combining moving image with still pictures.
I’m motivated by opening up a theatrical dialogue with cultural figures who inform our age, especially those who seem undervalued or overly familiar to the extent that meaning is hidden. My MA led me to open up my work, allowing a more multi-disciplinary approach, freeing my work from solely an intra-painting-conversation and allowing-in dialogue with a spectrum of cultural/literary figures.
London, UK and Tehran, Iran
In my performance art, my medium is my body, and the live actions I perform are the work. I concentrate on four elements: time, space, the performer’s body, and a relationship between my audience and me as a performer to deliver my message by using a critical lens into my approach. As an Iranian woman, raised in Tehran, living in exile in London, I have always been an observer to people I have met through my life. I find each person’s personality unique and interesting. Most of the time I like to guess and judge their characters by observing carefully their actions and words. My question is, what if you must adhere to the rules of the environment and live in the boundaries created from the culture and the government restrictions. The laws that you must obey to survive and have no choice to be who you want to be. The only freedom one can possibly have, is from within. By acting the two characters, the transvestites, I have tried to act and feel what it is to be trapped in the wrong body.
By my works I try to discover mechanisms working on various levels and at different scales. I look for opportunities to understand causes, analyze relations, seek for analogies. Interested in both social issues and this referring to the absolute. Describe taken topics in the most purified way with significant focus on the idea. Multi-disciplinary work allows me choose means subordinated for concept. I prefer to use contemporary mediums which surrounds us in everyday life.
Monika Mysiak focuses on topic of intimacy, publicity and privacy. She is mainly a painter but recentlyworking with object such show-case and digital prints. The main “character” in Monika Mysiak’s cycle she has been working on for the last years is her mother’s lingerie and linen found on the bottom shelf of a wardrobe while moving house: old petticoats, handkerchiefs, napkins. White and richly embroidered, they were lying there, forgotten but neatly folded, taken out rarely and carefully like reliquaries, just to be touched, smelled and remembered. Preparing a young woman for her future role was also connected with delineating her sexuality, which had to fit a set of desired characteristics of a faithful wife and patient mother. Monika Mysiak arranges the authentic fabrics in rolls and shapes referring in a subtle way to the feminine body. Her monochromatic pictures are charged with eroticism filtered through the author’s temperament.
London, UK and New Zealand
Regan O’Callaghan is an artist and priest based in London, U.K. His work primarily investigates the concept of ritual in postmodern culture and the coexistence between tradition, routine, habits and new technologies. His recent work Waiata o te Huia (Song of the Huia) and Anchorage I, II, III, IV belong to a series of projects developed over the past five years. Inspired by the biblical theme of a movable altar, from the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible and the concept of Genius Loci, spirit of the place, this work offers different sometimes conflicting, stories by using expressions of the absurd, the humorous, mundane and apophatic.
I weave and plot. Often, I pick a method which is already perverse at its base, creating dummies and nets, flexing rhizome as language/tongue. I treat art as a way of learning, naming and describing of the reality, on a certain level, a concrete that was reduced to abstracts, that in some semi-real, semi-intuitional realm, can be expressed. They are like a stone thrown into water, ripping and rippling its clear and smooth surface with waves that are spreading in all directions. I observe the phenomenon of biopower and biopolitics. In the theoretical part of my PhD dissertation entitled “Aegrum corpus quassari etiam lenibus solet offensis. Health literacy and illiteracy” (A sick body trembles even when lightly touched. Health literacy and illiteracy) , I propose the concept of health illiteracy.
I mostly paint oil pictures and drawings, often on location, as en plein air painting gives me the sense of directness I find particularly inspiring. Places, remembrance and the feeling of loss constitute the core topic matter of my art. The thread that binds it all together are the elements, which are primordial, which are ultimate, which are nature. My paintings always display some degree of closeness to nature. I’m driven by the possibilities of its interpretation, of being able to bend it, to stir emotions, sometimes evoking emotions from different indefinite time periods and dimensions; it’s like tapping into the humanity’s heart.
London, UK and Berlin, Germany
I work predominantly with paint and translucence; addressing paintings’ surface and spatial depth. Testing the sliding scale of figuration and abstraction, my focus is how we perceive identity and change – encounters. Exploring the relationship between what we see and what we feel, the work invites the viewer to question their own perceptions, while hinting at a narrative, or capturing moments in the lives of others. The candid enquiry often exposes polarized, human states. I am currently exploring the tensions between what is public and what is private: how, in today’s digital world, appearance often contrasts with reality and sociability belies intimacy.
I am a painter and a beginning stage designer, but I also like experimenting in other fields of art, e.g., screen printing, video filming or sculpture. Painting is often the best way to express myself, and these works are often combined with some texts and installations. I am interested in movies, books, music and Polish history of the 20th century, and current research concerns extraordinary Polish propaganda art of that time. In my paintings and graphic,s I usually present topics closely related to Polish history or today’s situation in the world, i.e., violence, terrorism and war. I want to show that people who fight for their lives all over the world are real humans, not only the ‘images’ created by media.
The artist within each of us draws an inspiration from many places both outside and inside ourselves looking for a way to mute or crack down on our own problems and emotions. My refuge is something that you can not resist, it surrounds us and creates our reality, we can tame it but not destroy, it is reborn again, our ally and sometimes the enemy, brutally destroys like a human only to be born again particle after particle. Nature – my inspiration, pulsating rhythms of million colours that shape the system. Hence I use in my graphics and painting objects motifs derived from it ie. symmetrically cut stone, tree, stalactite. I cut to be able to enter the matter like a woodworm to examine the code according to which nature creates perfect shapes, forms. The secret code, the mysterious formula that rules art, nature and science.
The aim of producing works that respond uniquely to each space has been to invert the dynamics of an exhibition situation. By treating the exhibition space as an arena for research and experimentation, the work evolves freely as a mesh of intertwining and interacting rhizomic connections, completed by the activation of the exhibition site. The artwork actively engages the site as a component of the work, establishing a phenomenological change from a place, into a charged location, integrating the work as an unfolding spatial and durational event exploring philosophical ideas and the energy of the Genius Loci.
I use words, photography, sculpture, video, paint….any material that allows me to process and understand myself and my relationship/connection to the other. Keywords for me are: relationship, connection, inheritance, survival, identity. I explore ideas of ancestral and geographic inheritance and how alongside cultural and social inheritance, they impact one’s identity. Most recently returning with my son to the beach where he was born. A deep connection to land was evident in his responses to a place he had not set foot on for 15 years.
My artistic work is inspired by biological and geographic albums, printed in the 50s or 60s. Old pages with not very sharp print give me many ideas to develop in collage or in painting. While creating a picture I’m looking for simple solutions to show the most defined forms; that’s why my compositions are often built on two or three elements. Recently I’ve been interested in the topic of nature. By reorganization of organic and non-organic elements I look for different associations. The elements are deceptively well matched. I wanted to show the parts that are added, artificial lines that cut the image, to point attention to the most important thing in observing nature, which is according to me our cultural prism. I realized that while I’m thinking about a natural element, a tree or a rock, the most interesting is the story that could be built around it, the story that I can write making a proper composition.
Travel Agency Collective
Katowice, Poland and Vienna, Austria
The Travel Agency is a long-term, nomadic art project, composed of several threads revolving around the concept of strangeness and alienation, belonging to a place, emigration, embroiled identity. This work resulted with such curatorial shows like “Mary & Margareth” for Kronika Gallery, Bytom (2013), “Intercity” for Action Gallery, Warsaw (2014) and “Paradise” for Loft 8 Gallery, Vienna (2015).
Learn more about Travel Agency Collective: http://mendrek.eu/?p=406
I am looking for contradictions within human behaviours, primal roots of humanity, nature in general. I wonder what is the human’s role in functioning of the world. I would like to continue my search that I began in my previous works. My creative process is strongly influenced by traveling and direct experience, that I find essential to extend my observation of the world and understanding of various cultural problems.
I am a multi-disciplinary artist who creates installations, props and paintings together with performance, photography and video work. Taking reference from both theatre and art, I explore the ideas of using drama and comedy for truth-telling and examining the human condition. My work steps into a world of fantasy and absurdism resulting in the conflicts of self-doubt, resistance, submission and the need for acceptance. I also use clowns as a metaphor – as when you peel back their layers of disguise and foolishness, there is a clear confrontational struggle for power. I want the audience to see through the eyes of my characters or to use the work as a mirror to reflect their own discomfort and struggles.
Joanna Zdzienicka works using different media to create objects and new ways of constructing widely understood image. Time and phenomena determined by time, such as memory, hoarding instincts, collections, are very important to her. She explores and uses them accentuating the process of creation. In her latest works she reaches to nature and the natural phenomena remains interleaving them with fore mentioned themes.
My making as an artist is an unbroken continuation of my making as a child – art as the evolution of play. Recent work has been influenced by the death of my father last year. My parents are Polish and my family history is one of displacement, loss and flight. I would say that the central theme of my enquiry is that of identity and my long-time preoccupation with formlessness, the border between abstraction and figuration, with becoming. The use of feet, shoes, and legs as a recurring motif in the work gives this fragment of the body a feeling of being more open-ended and equivocal than the entire figure.