(b. 1990, Poland) Magdalena Gluszak - Holeksa is a visual artist currently based in Hertfordshire, UK. Through the process of painting and drawing she explores the human speculation of memory and familiarity as experienced in the pursuit of human identity. Merging the lines between fiction and reality her works reflect a non – linear approach to the suggested narratives and metaphors. She recently became a Digswell Arts Fellow and works from her studio at the Forge, Welwyn North. She also got selected for the Professional Development Programme (Newplatform.art, 2022). Her latest exhibitions include: 'A Mountain, Too, Has Its Thoughts' (2022) solo exhibition at Broadway Gallery, ‘Correspondence 01’ at Broadway Gallery & Exeter Phoenix Gallery (2021), ‘Re:store Re:new Re:imagine’, Willesden Gallery (2021), ‘Emergent Vision’, Safe house 1 (2020). Shortlisted for Jackson’s Painting Prize (2019) and ARTIQ Art Graduate Prize (2019). Recipient of two emerging artist grants from The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation (2017 and 2018). Featured in: Saatchi Art Rising Stars (2019) and Jackson’s Painting Prize Artist Interview (2019).
The natural environment is a central feature of my childhood memories and has become a starting point in my exploration of identity. This sense of identity oscillates between the past and the ever-becoming of the present moment. The edges of conscious perception soften, giving way to what might seem subconscious or beyond our current awareness. I consider the mechanics of memory, specifically inherited memory, through the alchemical process of painting. In my approach to painting any sense of control over forms and colours continually evolves and shifts. This uncertain state of mind is reflected in the tension between shadows and electric colours, fluid forms and ambiguous settings, together rendering a dream-like realm. The compositions are initially collaged from family photographs, staged self-portraits and found images online: bringing together that which is documented, remembered, staged and imagined to create transitory moments within the canvas. The spaces formed on the canvas merge elements of landscape, body parts and man-made structures.
Do we belong to where we came from or where we are going? My experience of living between cultures and countries, belonging to both but not being at home within either, induced an impulse to question my experience of time, memory and body within particular locations. Moving in-between places, both literal and psychological, is signalled in my paintings by the nomadic nature of abstracted forms which are contrasted with figurative elements. These figures act as ‘anchors’. They are never fully one thing, but instead waver and un-become. The familiar parts of the paintings hold both hope and loss, and reinforce the importance of un-learning: both within the creative process and in the relationships between the self and the other.