If not here, where? 2017 (solo exhibition)

(Phot. Frederik Gruyaert)

Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, 2017

It seems that Alicja Bielawska’s thinking is determined by a line. Both by the visible one as well as the one, which cannot be seen, which is nevertheless a mark, a trace leading from the drawing to the sculpture and the other way around. When asked what is most important for her – drawing or sculptures – the artist says that one cannot make such a distinction. Both forms of expression exist simultaneously, mutually interweaving with and complementing each other. The difference is encompassed in the scale of its activity. Drawing for Bielawska is a very intimate action, which requires concentration as well as a specifc type of work with one’s body. The gesture of using the colored pencil comes from within and the hand constitutes a direct extension of the thought, the literal transposition of the ideas to a sheet of paper. The sculpture, however, exerts an influence with its material and size. The artist reaches beyond the sheet of paper and traces lines in space – literally and metaphorically. Her works are based on divisions rather than building structures, seizing space, partitioning and connecting it back together.
The lines do not appear exclusively on paper and in space, but they also appear on pieces of fabric that the artist uses. She uses textiles: plain, made out of cotton and wool, as well as blankets covered with a custom designed chequered pattern. This most popular motif in mass-production, which all of us have encountered, becomes a cartographic network of connections. The fabric created according to the artist’s design is one of a kind – with a potential to become a serial product. It appears as an element of sculptures, which balance between an artistic object and an item of everyday use.
Anna Szary
(excerpts from the catalogue Alicja Bielawska, Galeria Labirynt, Lublin, 2017)