Who or what is the biggest inspiration for your art?
Inspiration starts for me from within. I reach for emotionally charged subjects close to my roots and myself: Slavic mythology, memories and everyday life. I’m interested in how a personal narrative can enter the imaginative space of my work without being illustrative and literal.
Please tell us more about your working process and the way you approach new artworks
It’s a continuous process; often a painting I’d be working on now would inform the next one. I usually start with a concept and follow it with a series of very minimal sketches to find the right shapes and placement. Sometimes I would develop it further in more detailed drawings. Music is extremely important. Before I start painting, I normally choose the music to put me in a particular mood- it’s like a ritual, which gets me ready to work.
What motivates you the most in your artistic journey?
I have an amazing support from my family, my partner and my close friends. Their continuous support helps me enormously. Looking at the fearless artists through the history of art gets me going, I can identify with a lot of female artists who share similar experiences. The most important rule is to stay focused and continue working.
Who or what has recently impressed you?
I recently went to see Cold War- a film by Pawel Pawlikowski. As his previous film, it was an absolutely stunning and very personal story. Shot in a sensitive, poetic way accompanied by an extremely moving soundtrack and solid performances.
Which artist, dead or alive, would you want to have a beer with?
I’d love to have a drink with Marlene Dumas. She’s been my hero ever since I discovered her work during the Erasmus exchange in Arnhem. Although my work departed from it, figuration is still very much at its core.
How do you spend your free time besides artistic work?
When away from the studio, I still think about my work. I guess the usual reading, cinema, music… I also love fooling around, gin&tonic and cooking.
Do you have any dream projects in mind that you would like to do in the future?
I’d love to be part of exciting curatorial projects, alternative exhibition venues. Above all, I hope that at some point I’ll be able to have a big ass studio and be able to paint enormous pictures (if I feel like it) without worrying about the expenses.
In your recent works, you are taking a more minimalist approach to form and colour. Unlike your earlier paintings, they also seem to lack a sense of perspective. Can you tell us more about this change?
When I first started painting, I was very much responding to the human figure in its literal, realistic form. I was trying to find a way to move away from this pictorial language and started experimenting with different subject matters. At the moment my work is based on minimal, reduced vocabulary so that I can fully focus on exploring the relationship of the shape, colour and paint itself. I choose shapes, which can easily take on different roles and meanings, something like a personal code. Hopefully it intensifies the experience of looking at the work and opens more complex ways of thinking about it. I don’t want my painting to offer a definite answer for the viewer. I want the paintings to hold the answer right before the viewer is able to find it.
Some of the paintings in the „The place that doesn’t exist anymore” series include fragments depicting real-life buildings. What is the idea behind inserting representational drawings in otherwise abstract artworks?
In this series I allowed myself to see the subject in a more abstracted way. It’s based on Wolyn genocide during WWII. Growing up in Poland, I remember hearing stories about it from my grandmother and her sister. The building you can see in some of those paintings is the church in a village of Kisielin, which was attacked by Ukrainian Insurgent Army during a mass. The aim was to kill as many people as possible including women and children. I used a very reduced shape of the church and inserted the image of this church as it looked before 1943. I wanted to talk about time and memory of those events by using two different languages.
Your paintings „Girl” and „Girl 2” are extremely similar, unlike any other two artworks in your portfolio – sharing dimensions, technique and colour palette, as well as the distinctive purple triangle. What can you tell us about these artworks?
These two paintings are abstracted representations of a female. I used reduced shapes like a triangle or a braid to contain the figure within. I wanted the title to be the only hint at the possible meaning of the work.