Droga do domu (The Way Home) is an exhibition of works by Anna Szpakowska-Kujawska – paintings, collages, objects – constituting a personal notation of insights experienced by the artist during her stays in a wooden house in Lasówka – a village located between the Bystrzyckie and Orlickie Mountains, on the picturesque Dzika Orlica riverbank. Those artworks express the reflection upon the very concept of home – uniting both the personal and universal aspects.

The cabin in Lasówka is perceived by the artist as an inherent part of its surroundings – the experience of a sanctuary is inseparably intertwined with the feeling of an openness to the whole world of nature. The artists interprets the concept of home in terms of micro- and macroscale: as her ‘own place on Earth’ but also the Earth itself as her ‘own place’. Life amongst plants, animals, minerals, on a fertile soil – means living with one’s very own tribe. Szpakowska describes – in word and in picture – the animals and plants residing in Lasówka with an equal amount of tenderness as she does with her (human) friends and family members. 

The word which seems to fit especially well to such kind of feeling and reflection is kinship. It leads us to the understanding of humanity and nature as a whole, as inseparable parts of the one. It is interestingly interpreted in the series of sculptures called by Szpakowska ‘Skrzydlaki’ – ‘The Winged Ones’. Neither plants, nor fantastic species of fauna – those beings are hard to classify and maybe should just be seen as some kind of spirits of nature, however – if one can say so – a very earthy kind of spirits. Literally, there is nothing unnatural about them. They somehow recall the primeval human tendency to see trees, streams or rocks as beings having their very own identity. In Lasówka they became rightful companions of humans.

For Szpakowska, nature is a space of meditation. The very meaning of that meditation is to unify a variety of sensations – which can be best seen in her mosaic-like artworks, not only in collages (where unified landscapes emerge from series of separate, painted impressions of the same place, later cut to pieces and constructed from scratch) but also in paintings (where – in a way very characteristic for Szpakowska’s artistic practice – the multiplied human forms are intertwined with each other) and sculptures – the aforementioned Winged Ones, built from parts borrowed from different species. Paradoxically, if there is a silence eventually emerging from such meditation, it is a silence in the eye of the storm.

The artist also writes a lot about Lasówka and is always eager to tell stories about this place. Therefore, the whole narration about Lasówka constitutes itself a kind of a collage, where words and pictures coexist. Perhaps only when we grasp them both we can experience the totality of the vision – words can be misleading, but such are also our eyes. It needs seeing, to be able to hear – and hearing, to be able to see.

/ Joanna Kaźmierczak /

 

Anna Szpakowska-Kujawska (b. 1931) – a paintress; creates also collages, ceramic sculptures, objects. Her works are well-recognizable in the city space of Wrocław (eg. the ceramic decoration of the façade of the Instituite of Mathematics at the University of Wrocław). She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, in years 1961-1978 was one of the members of the so-called Wrocław School (later: Wrocław Group). Lives and works in Wrocław, being an active promoter of the art of her father – Wacław Szpakowski. 

The exhibition is organized with the cooperation with Fabryka Sensu: the co-working space established by Lucyna Schumacher, designed to boost people’s creativity. A cup of coffee in the Intercontinental, a restroom in a closet, a jungle creeping into the room? There are more secrets of that place than that. This inspiring environment offers 300 m2  of space for a variety of events: courses, workshops, conferences, receptions, meetings with art and culture – everything that helps to break the everyday routine.