(b. 1990, Poland) Magdalena Gluszak - Holeksa is a visual artist based in Hertfordshire, UK. Through the process of painting she explores the human speculation of memory and familiarity as experienced in the pursuit of human identity and the ‘unknown’. Merging the lines between fiction and reality her works reflect a non – linear approach to the suggested narratives and metaphors.




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.


2021                                   Correspondence 01, Broadway Gallery & Exeter Phoenix Gallery, UK

                                           Re:store Re:new Re:imagine, Willesden Gallery, London

                                           Re:store Re:new Re:imagine (online), Willesden Gallery, London

2020                                   36th Annual Open Exhibition (online), Southwark Park Galleries, London

                                           Emergent Vision, Uncovered Collective,  Safe house, London

                                           (Postponed) Three Landscapes, The Art Spaces, Islington, London 

2019                                   ARTIQ The Graduate Art Prize, Herbert Smith Freehills, London 

                                           Capsticks Solicitors PLC, Wimbledon 

                                           Orbit UK Art Graduates Show, OXO Tower Wharf, London

                                           Postopia, Ugly Duck, London

                                           Who Will Provide?, Crypt Gallery, London

2018                                   Window 71, Broad Lane, London

                                           Beyond The Pale, LOFT, London

                                           Chance, Chelsea College of Arts, London

                                           Uncertainty, Wimbledon College of Arts, London

2017                                   (Solo) Rozczlonkowanie (Dismemberment), COK 'Dom Narodowy', Cieszyn, Poland

2014                                   TURF, OXO Tower Wharf, London

2012                                   Bar - Tur Award, Paradise Row Gallery, London


2017 / 19                            MFA Fine Arts, Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts London (Distinction)

2011 / 14                            BA (Hons) Photography, Arts University Bournemouth

2010 / 11                            Foundation Degree in Art and Design, Byam Shaw School of Art, Central Saint Martins

Awards and competitions

2019                                  ARTIQ Art Graduate Prize, Shortlist

                                          Hix Award, London, Longlist

                                          Jackson's Open Painting Prize, London, Shortlist

2018                                  Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, 2nd Emerging Artist Grant, Canada

2017                                  Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, 1st Emerging Artist Grant, Canada

2011                                  Bar-Tur Award Annual Photography Competition,  2nd place in 'Lifestyles' category

Publications and interviews

2020                                            Artists Responding To..., Issue 4, publication; www.artistsrespondingto.co.uk

2019                                  Saatchi Art Rising Stars, publication; www.saatchiart.com

                                          Jackson's Art Blog, interview; www.jacksonsart.com/paintingprize/

2016                                  Young Space, interview; www.yngspc.com 

                                          Art Upon, publication; www.artupon.com

Residencies and collaborations

2021 / 22                        Artist in Residence at Broadway Studio Gallery, Letchworth


2018                               Collaboration with artist Whitney Jade Halstead on a site specific installation

                                       Are We the Heavy Mountain We Have to Carry?', as part of 'Who Will Provide?' exhibition

                                       at Crypt Gallery, London


Private collections in UK, U.S., South Africa, Asia and Europe