Kobieta

2022

Azulejo

195cm x 75cm

​Kobieta, Polish for "Woman", executed in traditional Portuguese azulejos.

This large azulejo piece, framed in raw pine, depicts an incomplete female form, pierced in the heart and womb. The combination of bare ceramic, raw wood, and glaze in various textures and vibrant colours come together in a very imposing, expressive way.

The disembodied female figure is a theme I use a lot in my work. There is a very visceral feeling to image, which embodies a sense of carnal womanhood, but in a sense robbed of its personhood. Spears pierce the figure in the womb and in the heart.

The strips of traditional blue and blood red in the background clash on a central line, broken up by the body in raw chacota ceramic, given a thin clear glaze to bring out the natural lustre in the material.

At the bottom of the piece, there is a collection of stylised skulls. The representation is obviously of death and mortality, but there is also a sense of the connection between the living self and the corporeal body, which is inherently mortal, and evoking a sense of vanitas.

The piece stands almost 2 metres tall, and is intended to be hung at least 1.5m from the ground, so that it looms high over the viewer, bringing to mind medieval Polish icons, often incorporating gruesome wooden statues, with a huge and solemn presence.

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