The paintings presented at the exhibition belong to a series of works inspired by a passage from a book by Julia Fiedorczuk, Cyborg in the Garden, the subject of which are people involved in forest conservation movements in different parts of the world. Kowynia depicts people from the Chipko Andolan movement (whose name comes from the word “embrace” in Hindi) that originated in the Indian Himalayas in 1974 in order to defend trees against felling. It became famous for the mass participation of rural women who shielded (literally embraced) trees with their bodies to prevent felling. During the 1980s, the Chipko movement also engaged in protests against the limestone mining industry and the construction of the Tehri dam. Later, it evolved into the Beej Bachao Andolan (Save the Seeds) movement that continues to the present day.
(b. 1978) – artist, painter. She has developed an original style that combines the realism of a painting with an expressive struggle against matter, i.e. paint. Color plays an important role in her work; it is through color that the artist plays with light, emotion, and power of a depicted scene. The starting point for her formally refined images is often literature, particularly works by Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, and Virginia Woolf. In Kowynia’s paintings one can discern an interest in ecology, feminism, memory, and family relations. Rather than giving an account of what her eye or imagination have registered, but the artist evokes the emotions that accompany particular circumstances. The depicted situations, seemingly ordinary and domesticated, are never unambiguous.
Rok powstania: 2016
oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and the Szara Gallery.