Having emigrated from Poland at thirteen, and strongly assimilating into Irish culture, I found myself in a sort of limbo, not really belonging anywhere. My Polishness was missing the final touches, and my Irishness was missing the initial strokes.
As an adult, I emigrated to Portugal, and started to repeat the process. I now have a beautifully muddled identity, but my sense of home is ever more confused. The joy of multiculturalism comes with the caveat of outsiderhood.
With this series I try to resolve my subconscious yearning for cultural completeness, through the creation of a fictional folkloric aesthetic.
The pieces are executed in azulejos, a very Portuguese medium, but with more typically Eastern-European composition and tone. Figures are dressed in quasi-traditional clothes, more informed by faded reminiscence than an attempt at accuracy. Imagery from my childhood, things that were significant to me, take on a mythic quality.
By combining these very subjective elements and pulling in aesthetics from all of my “home countries”, I hope to produce work that expresses a sense of personal cultural identity. Importantly, I hope to pay some tribute to the cultures that inspired and shaped me, and feed something back into them, expressing the complexity of the immigrant experience.