“Yesterday I Dreamt of an Empty Forest” | Exhibition accompanying the IV Biennial of Artistic Textile in Poznan
Gallery Duża Scena UAP, 24 Wodna Str.
Opening: 30.09.23, 20:00
Curator: Dorota Tarnowska-Urbanik
Duration: 30.09 – 15.10.2023
Wednesday – Sunday, 14:00-17:00
The impulse to create the exhibition “Yesterday I Dreamt of an Empty Forest ” is the desire to meet again and present the work of people who were and still are associated with the Artistic Textile Studio at Magdalena Abakanowicz University of the Arts Poznan, and whose attitudes and various sensitivities are strongly remembered by those running the workshop. Despite the difference in age, interests and current profession, each artist had and still has a strong fascination with nature.
For Anna Goebel, the forest is a place of relaxation, an escape from the hustle and bustle of a big city. She looks for silence there, it is a place for reflection. The landscape, the world of plants and animals, objects taken directly from nature, sometimes damaged and imperfect, are the material from which her works are created, and the variability of nature is the basis for inspiration. Similarly, Nina Kruger’s work is driven by the diversity of nature, from plants to animals. The artist explores the connections between all living things and their habitats. Some of her works may resemble the textures of feathers or animal skins, but they are made only of organic materials, often overlooked and unnoticed in urban space.
Kamila Kobierzyńska is interested in the echoes of history in the contemporary social and architectural fabric. Sometimes these are ephemeral, barely noticeable actions in open space, poetic interventions.
In her latest works, Lidia Wojcieszek reflects on the transience of the moment. Over what is alleged and what is becoming real, what is coming to life and what is falling apart. Looking for an answer to the question “Who am I?”: “A way to deal with the rushing everyday life: stop a moment? A plea for sensitivity: tread lightly? A suggestion of prudence: take note of the images you pass? A call for wisdom: find life where no one even looks for it?”
Aleksandra Skorupka has been fascinated by the coloring properties of plants for some time. Experienced by moving to another city and the accompanying feelings of longing and loss, she tries to familiarize herself with the new space by creating a painting map. She limits her collection area to greenery located within a radius of several streets from her place of residence – in wasteland, green belts by the road, in squares, she collects plants from which she prepares dyeing baths. She soaks the yarns in them and then weaves a tapestries. Each plant is catalogued, the harvest time, place and cooking process are described.
Maria Roszyk in her work, which consists of a set of wax modules that store a collection of natural finds from her immediate area and a fragment of old wallpaper decorated with embroidery – an afterimage of a child’s play on the river bank, talks about the experience of nature and the impact it had and still has on her life. As she writes: “For me, the most beloved and the most soothing is the nature that is close to me and known to me, the one that I have tamed through hours of playing in the mud, on the shore of a lake or stream , or in a meadow. And although I have visited places with exceptional natural values, on a daily basis this closest and most common nature is always a source of delight – I think it is due to my childhood experiences and the unique relationship I have built with it.
At the exhibition, Dorota Tarnowska-Urbanik presents a small-format object – an artistic book made of silk batiste, painted with milk and stained oak bark, each page of which is an afterimage of longings and experiences. The world of plants and animals inspires her for individual exploration and aesthetic journeys into the unknown. However, this is not copying nature or its thoughtless appropriation. It is about observing, drawing from its richness, and using it to formulate statements about timeless things. Close surroundings and discovering great things in seemingly insignificant things.
While I, as a curator, was thinking about the topic and title of the exhibition, I found on the shelf “The Naked Orchard” by Wiesław Myśliwski, which I had once read. Plot outline: a son educated in the city returns to his family home after a few years and tries to find himself again in the place of his birth – a village, a place close to nature. The main themes of the novel are the love of father and son, attachment to the land, close life together and the void that remains after the death of loved ones. By juxtaposing the sensitivity of the artists and the visual aspect of the works included in the exhibition, as well as reflections on a novel I had read in the past, where the author deeply immerses the lives of his characters in nature, I created a space for reflection. I was accompanied by the issue of existence as a fragile but very complex experience. The thought of transience, and sometimes of the inevitable disappearance. A feeling of anxiety and fear in the face of emptiness that forces a person to reinvent himself and re-evaluate things that were previously important. Emptiness – ideological, social, psychological, spiritual. However, the void can be filled. Using the dictionary definition, a forest is a certain system of relationships between the plant and animal world and inanimate factors, which together constitute an indivisible and dynamic entity. A forest may be of utilitarian or protective nature. We can obtain valuable materials from forests, but the forest is also a shelter for many species of plants and animals. Forests surrounding areas inhabited by humans constitute a natural protective barrier. The void can be filled. So there is still hope.
Kamila Kobierzyńska lives and works in Poznań, co-creates the Latent Images Studio at the Faculty of Photography of the University of Arts and the Photography Studio at the Zamek Cultural Center in Poznan. She is a member of the board of the Scientific Society of Photography (ntf.org.pl). She creates using the broadly understood matter of photography and its cultural meanings, creating site-specific objects, situations with the participation of the audience, as well as ephemeral and barely noticeable phenomena.
Maria Roszyk (born in Poznan) artist, programmer. She creates poetic interventions at the intersection of the digital and analog, virtual and tangible worlds, using fabric, paper, installation art and new technologies. A graduate of art history (UAM 2017) and graphic design (UAP 2017).
Aleksandra Skorupka graduated in Painting from the Magdalena Abakanowicz University of the Arts Poznan. She is currently a Master’s student in Artistic Research at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She deals with drawing, textiles and education. She works in collectives in which she co-organizes events, conducts workshops and publishes zines. By creating, she explores the regenerative and community-building potential of artistic activities.
Nina Kruger is a South African artist, in 2023 she defended her diploma in artistic textiles at the Faculty of Painting and Drawing at UAP. She completed her bachelor’s degree in South Africa at the University of Pretoria. Her artistic practice explores the interrelationships between people, animals, plants and the environment through the use of observed and collected organic materials. She creates fiber installations and uses her own techniques, including felting and threading, while exploring photography and videography. Her work delves into theories of posthumanism and new materialism.
Anna Goebel (born in Katowice) studied at the State Higher School of Fine Arts in Poznan (currently the M. Abakanowicz University of the Arts) in 1972-1977. She obtained a diploma in artistic textiles and interior design. After graduation, she was employed at her alma mater, obtained the title of professor in 1994, and currently works as a consultant. She creates spatial compositions and objects, deals with ephemeral activities in open space, and paper art. She has presented her works at many individual and collective exhibitions in Poland and abroad, including in Europe, the USA, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, and Australia. Visiting professor at art universities, including: in the USA, Australia, Mexico.
Dorota Tarnowska-Urbanik (born in Puck) defended her diploma thesis in the field of workshop graphics and drawing at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan (now UAP) in 2008, and in 2007-2008 she studied graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. In the years 2009-2013, she completed doctoral studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Faculty of Graphics. In the years 2013-2022 she was an assistant professor, since 2022 she has been the head of the studio at the Artistic Textile Studio at the Faculty of Painting and Drawing of Magdalena Abakanowicz University of the Arts Poznan. Co-curator at the Szewska 16 Gallery, affiliated to the Faculty of Painting and Drawing of the University of Arts.
Lidia Wojcieszek (born in Poznan), graduate of Design at the University of the Arts Poznan, currently a laboratory technician at the Artistic Textile Studio at the Faculty of Painting and Drawing. She draws inspiration from creation and the cycle of nature. The medium is natural dyes obtained from plants, which, depending on the season, come to life… or get a new life.