Through this series of oil paintings and drawings made during the Letchworth Residency Gluszak-Holeksa continued to explore the visual and conceptual discoveries of the small works made for the Correspondence 01exhibition in August 2021. Starting with the process of removing, distilling and simplifying her painting methodology, igniting new questions related to the use of the cool colour palette, blurriness vs sharp edges, abstraction and structuring the composition around light and shadow. Throughout the residency Gluszak-Holeksa explored being in a new space, both literally and mentally after lockdown, the experience of living between cultures and countries, in-between the inner and outer spaces and the past and the present as a state of being.
During the residency the studio space became a place of reflection and conversation between the artist and gallery visitors, who very often would find the paintings to be the triggers of contradictory sensations of familiarity and ambiguity. These led to intimate discussions that created connections between the artist’s and the audience’s experiences, which fed back into the paintings, shaping their outcomes and allowing her to view them in new, unexpected ways.
The title of the exhibition is inspired by a quote from a book ‘The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World’ (1997, Abram, D.). The mountain in this context not only becomes a metaphor of a non – human language and animism, but also links back to an actual physical space of the region where Gluszak-Holeksa grew up – a place, which metaphorically becomes ‘the other’ and the unfamiliar. Her background in photography, with experience of colour darkroom practices and experiments, feeds into the painterly metamorphosis of digital collages that the artist will “sketch” prior to starting the work on canvas. In these cinematic compositions, through the mix of darker shades of Prussian Blue, Ultramarine and Phthalo Green, combined with blurry highlights and fading objects, she aims to evoke a sense of “softening”, an edge of perception, which gives way to something what might seem like it belongs to a memory or to a place beyond our current awareness.
(b. 1990, Poland) Magdalena Gluszak - Holeksa is a visual artist based in Hertfordshire. Through the process of painting and drawing she explores the human speculation of memory and familiarity as experienced in the pursuit of human identity and the ‘unknown’. Merging the lines between fiction and reality her works reflect a non – linear approach to the suggested narratives and metaphors. Recently an artist in residence at Broadway Studio Gallery in Letchworth. Her latest exhibitions include: ‘Correspondence 01’ at Broadway Studio Gallery & Exeter Phoenix Gallery (2021), ‘Re:store Re:new Re:imagine’, Willesden Gallery (2021), ‘Emergent Vision’, Safe house 1 (2020). Shortlisted for the Jackson’s Painting Prize (2019) and ARTIQ Art Graduate Prize (2019). Recipient of two ‘emerging artist’ grants from The Elisabeth Greenshields Foundation (2017, 2018). Features: Saatchi Art Rising Stars (2019) and Jackson’s Painting Prize Artist Interview (2019).