Things which are…

Maria Pyrlik, Bettina Beres, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, Stanislaw Koba and Olgierd Chmielewski

Exhibitions | 14 July 2007 - 1 September 2007

‘Things which are...’ brings together five contemporary Polish artists. Grzegorz Sztwiertnia’s work references the history of art and medicine, while the paintings of Stanislaw Koba and Bettina Beres are striking in their simplicity of image. Using sound and video, Maria Pyrlik examines connections between people and Olgierd Chmielewski experiments with chance and accidental beauty in his delicate sculptures.

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'Things which are …', which brings together works by five leading artists from Poland - Maria Pyrlik, Bettina Beres, Grzegorz Sztwiertnia, Stanislaw Koba and Olgierd Chmielewski. All are members of the artists association, Otwarta Pracownia, Krakow.

Grzegorz Sztwiertnia's work makes teasing references to the history of art and medicine, exploring ideas of perceived truths and imagination with humour and irony. Here he presents video and installation, and a major wall-painting of his own eye, which he has created within Oriel Davies' exhibition space. Olgierd Chmielewski experiments with chance, movement and accidental beauty through his automatic drawings and delicate moving sculptures, which are propelled on air currents around the gallery. In her installation, Ears to hear..., Maria Pyrlik combines photography, video and sound to explore the differences and similarities between peoples across geographic boundaries, while the paintings of Stanislaw Koba and Bettina Beres are striking in the potency and simplicity of their imagery, demonstrating the power that painting still has upon the viewer.

The exhibition's title references the Dutch conceptual artist, Bas Jan Ader (1942-75) who used performance art, film and photography to explore questions of truth, emotion and the imagination. “I shall talk of things which are sometimes, accidentally true..” Bas Jan Ader

The exhibition is the result of an exchange project between Otwarta Pracownia, the Wales-based artist Andrew Smith and Oriel Davies. Otwarta Pracownia - the Open Studio Artists' Association - was established in 1995, in the Kazimerz district of Krakow, by Krakow-based artists, stating in its manifesto a desire to find a new place for painting in contemporary practice. The organisation is run by artists and has major names within Polish contemporary art amongst its members.

In 2006 Andrew Smith was invited to exhibit at Galeria Otwarta Pracownia, and showed a new body of paintings as the exhibition, En Route. Oriel Davies was invited by Otwarta Pracownia to make studio visits to member artists, and subsequently selected five artists to show in this exhibition. Andrew Smith's exhibition, En Route, shows in Gallery 2 alongside Things which are....

We hope that this project will be the start of a developing partnership between artists in Wales and Poland and to future exchanges. Oriel Davies warmly thanks all those who have worked to make this project possible: the exhibiting artists and Andrew Smith; Ignacy Czwartos, Jerzy Hanusek and Krystof Klimek of Otwarta Pracownia; Anna Tryc-Bromley of the Polish Cultural Institute and Ceri Jones and Nicola Morgan of Wales Arts International.

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