You are invited to my solo exhibition, 2nd August, at the Polish Consulate in Sydney

Exploring my sense of place

In preparation for this solo exhibition at the Polish consulate in Sydney, I spent considerable time reflecting on what it means to me to be of Polish descent, to consider my cultural and ancestral roots.

My personal journey started as a baby (5 months old) when I arrived with my parents in England in 1947. I lived for the next 12 years in a Polish Displaced Persons Camp. I imagine it must have been incredibly challenging for all the families in the camp, having survived the ordeals of war and then, as displaced persons, having to face the challenges of settling in a new country where neither language nor culture were familiar to them. They were also dealing with losing family and friends in the war and with being unable to, at that time, to return to Poland.

In the camp, I was totally immersed in my Polish culture and I was the first child from the camp to attend the English village school when I was 9 years old  – my formal Polish education ended here.  Eventually, as a young adult, I settled in London. As a child my identity was Polish, however, on my first visit to Poland, aged nineteen, my relatives welcomed me as their English relative, which further contributed to my wondering who was I really, not Polish – I have not actually lived in Poland-and neither did I feel English.

In 1981 I came to Australia and very quickly I developed a strong sense of place. I have embraced Australia as my country, however, when I spend time with Polish friends, or indeed when I visit Poland, in my heart I feel an incredible, ancestral connection which I hope to explore further through visits to Poland.

When painting for this solo exhibition, I was fully engaged in the process. As I paint, I am intuitively responding to the world around me, to fragmented memories of places I have lived in and to my internal emotional journey.

Creativity has always been part of my life, art was my favourite subject at school and I taught decorative art for many years both in Australia and overseas. However, I waited a very long time before I could afford the time to make a serious commitment to a regular art practice.

Painting is my grand passion and since starting my personal creative journey, I simply cannot stop.

I was so generously invited to exhibit by the Consul General, Regina Jurkowska, from the Polish Consulate of Sydney, to showcase paintings that I created during my two-and-a-half-years as an artist in residence at Primrose Park Artists Studios.

Some of my work is pure imagination, some from long-forgotten childhood memories and places that I have visited. My other works are in direct response to my environment, though none of them are of a specific place and I do use artistic license extravagantly.

Preparing for this exhibition has reminded me of my dream of visiting Poland, to my familial and cultural roots where I can visually and emotionally connect in preparation for a new body of work in response to my journey.

Please join me in celebrating my solo Exhibition at the Polish Consulate, Sydney

It is very exciting for me to have this opportunity to showcase my work with the Polish Community. I invite you to help celebrate my solo Painting Exhibition – Landscape Dialogues.

The opening night will be on
Thursday 2 August at 7.00pm.
Please RSVP Marta Kiec-Gubala

Exhibition hours are from 9 am -12 (noon)
Friday 3 August
Tuesday 7 August
Wednesday 8th August