Prima Werdiura, Museum of Weaving in Kamienna Góra, 21.10–31.12.2019
An exhibition titled Prima Werdiura was a special experiment, an attempt to confront my artistic experience with the Museum’s rich collection and unique artefacts. The idea involved fitting my paintings in the space which houses the Museum’s permanent exhibition. The aim was to create new contexts for the exhibited series of paintings and to bring up to date the subject matter of the old exhibits. The title of the exhibition evoked the textiles decorating the interior called verdure tapestries. It additionally stressed the character of the Museum and the ties of the historic interior with the displayed contemporary painting. The exhibition featured abstract compositions on canvas and illustrative pictures on paper as well as cut-outs.
The exhibition was divided into two parts and evoked the concept of the historical garden. In the first part, placing side by side the portraits of Świdnica and Jawor princesses, Beatrice of Brandenburg and Agnes of Austria, surrounded by abstract paintings featuring a vibrant painterly fabric produced a lovely context. Those forgotten and usually overlooked princesses, often portrayed in the company of their important husbands, regained their autonomy. At the Prima Werduria exhibition, we see them walking in the garden. They are once again relaxed, young and charming. They invite the audience to the second part of the exhibition, which evokes the memory of merry courtly feasts. The silver tableware displayed in its glass cases against the background of decorative tapestries brings to mind the interior of a Silesian palace. The awoken history blends with the present time. The visitors get a chance to briefly travel in space and time.
The first part of the exhibition comprised six canvases, 130 × 130 cm each, made in the acrylic on canvas technique, painted in the years 2016–2018. Some of them had been shown separately at individual exhibitions in the Museum of Katowice History in 2016, in the Puppet Theatre in Wrocław in 2017 and at several group exhibitions. However, never before had this series been shown as one whole. These works represent an important stage in my artistic practice owing to a long time it took to paint them, which allowed careful analysis of the depicted themes. The paintings were given the following titles: Lake, River, Pass, Edge, Den. They precisely indicate their source of inspiration, which, similarly to other simultaneous projects, suggest the link with landscape, wood and wilderness.
The second part of the exhibition featured works on paper. It was in part complemented by fragments of the Forest Scenes installation, which for the sake of the exhibition had been rearranged into two objects, each comprising twelve scenes. The key element was the 100 × 70 cm triptych on paper. The Scene with a Deer, The Scene with Does and The Scene with Wolves in my opinion perfectly reflected the character of the verdure tapestry in the title. The contrast between the textural figurative drawing and the flat background produced a decorative effect. Two small cut-outs, which were arranged in a similar fashion, featured the same character.
Additionally, three paintings from the Garden series (2015 and 2016) were shown. They complemented the exhibition and revealed the origin of the unique method of painterly notation which consists in creating the form by accumulating layers of paint, using dense lines and small dots of colour, which I have been developing for many years now. In the end, this technique gives the surface of the painting haptic qualities and may be associated with textiles whereas the resulting matter is the starting point for diverse formal experiments.