It was a beautiful, sunny evening followed by an incredible night! I came to the gallery a bit earlier, hoping to have a little moment before everyone else comes. Surprisingly visitors started coming before I managed to change my clothes and get into a zone. I was so overwhelmed, that I lost the notes with my speech (!). Then I discovered I gave it to my husband … This post will be about ‘Don’t Let Them Fool You’ – my first solo exhibition. Wohooooo!
It was 7pm on April fools 2023 and I was about to show what I worked on for the past 1,5 years. I was scared and excited at the same time!
So when Melanie (owner of Art Escape Studios) told me it was time for my speech …. I froze … I did prepare and practised a bit but well my introversive nature doesn’t love speeches …
Deep breath .. 4 minutes on the floor and I was done! Yay! Time to mingle into a wonderful crowd that came to support me 🙂
where did I take my idea from?
During the exhibition, many visitors ask me about the source of inspiration. How did it all start?
Around autumn 2021, I had an idea for a series of portraits of animals wrapped in plastic. It was inspired by some random portraits of dogs in suits, which I saw somewhere while browsing internet. I liked the idea of portraying the animals, as if they were humans.
While I was wondering what would my animals wear, my ‘on and off’ climate change anxiety became helpful – plastic of course! I made a few notes and left it simmering. I like to ‘cook’ the ideas slowly. If it stays on my mind for longer, it has bigger chance to go into the next stage, which is rough sketches.
One weekend my son went to a trampoline park to celebrate friends birthday. I couldn’t believe how much plastic cr*p he received during that party. The worst was tall slushy cap with a long plastic straw…and a plastic bag of random plastic goodies wrapped in additional plastic… plastic disaster, which ended up in a bin, as soon as we got home…
So this was what triggered me to draw the first portrait. The idea was to keep it colourful and playful. I didn’t want to scare with my portraits. I wanted to catch attention and inspire. Hence the turtle is dressed in plastic as if he is a part of a fashion show and of course he is holding a slushy cap.
While the wolf is also focused around garbage pollution it’s adding another dimension to the series. You see I wanted to show that wolf is not a scary monster that ate a little girl wearing a red hoodie. In fact, we humans are more scary …
From that moment the series evolves and becomes not only about plastic. It’s about nature being affected by global warming, pollution, biodiversity, habitat loss etc
and here is the speech...
Soooo nature … It’s such a serious subject nowadays, isn’t it?
But i’m not going to feed you with stories about what’s going to happen if we don’t get a grip. Or that the only way to cross the Atlantic would be in the kayak. Or that we are all going to DIE diagnosed with ‘climate change’
… not today
Instead Let’s talk about Frolicking! It’s such a funny English word!
When I hear the word “frolicking” I think about times when I was a kid running through the meadows in the summer at my grandparents.
Nowadays It reminds me of the time just before I moved to Copenhagen. I had this idea to do this small thing for nature by creating a meadow in the garden you know, restaurant for bees, less grass cutting, less watering…
So, we bought several boxes of seeds and got to work. Very quickly our neighbors came to help and of course they brought beer. Job was done within an hour.
At the start it looked really pretty and our garden turned into a buzzy restaurant for local insects.
We left to Copenhagen proud and happy.
After a while my dad started sending me pictures of monstrous bush. We might have put too many seeds…! It was no longer that beautiful meadow from the box but a meter tall mini jungle.
A complete failure…forget a lawnmower….my dad needed a machete just to trim it. It was a nightmare!!!
Anyway let me tell you a bit about this exhibition…
Just like with our meadow, that turned into a monster and wanted to take over our neighbors garden,…we are not going to be the perfect humans and we will mess up on regular basis but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try…
In this exhibition I just wanted to plant some seeds…just to give an idea that… even tho the current situation of our planet is overwhelming and most say it’s up to governments to turn the wheel around, but it’s also worth to make a few tweaks and changes in our everyday lives.
It’s not about waking up tomorrow as a vegan, kayaking to America or something like that, but rather about the really small things, the common sense, things like checking the ingredients on the chocolate bar…drinking from refill bottles…or planting a meadow in your garden….just easy on the beer!!… making small but gradual changes to our diets, redesigning our traditions a bit…for instance use a re-plantable christmas tree, organize a party without balloons or fireworks so on and on…
Who knows, maybe these micro habits might lead to something bigger overtime.
When you look at the paintings, they are colorful, but DON’T LET THEM FOOL YOU…
I am hoping they will act like a pop song.
Catchy and easy to remember, but also difficult to turn it off once it gets into your head. Yes! I do want to get into your heads today.
So DON’T LET THEM FOOL YOU, these animal’s portraits seem fun, but they ask for help.
DON’T LET THEM FOOL YOU, when you see a picture of a meadow on a package with cage chicken.
DON’T LET THEM FOOL YOU, when you hear about gas companies decreasing their footprint.
And so on, and so forth and what have you…
Oh and BTW… never stop frolicking and connecting to nature! 🙂
Thanks to everyone that showed up!
Special thanks to my wonderful parents to fly over to support me!
And my sons that chose to be here with me over their busy teenage lives.
And to my friends, who came from Poland and England!
Knowing that you are flying to be here tonight, gave me an enormous energy boost.
And to all my new friends that I met here in Copenhagen! You made this city a home to me.
And super thanks to my husband – Muggy you are truly 1 in million!
‘Don’t Let Them Fool You’ will be on till 6th of May. Apart from animal portraits there is a series of paintings about Geoffrey the Beekeeper and a few re-loved hand painted 2nd hand jean jackets.
Here are the opening hours of Art Escape Studios.
Wednesday till Sunday 10-16 (but closed for Easter holidays until 12th April)
You can also contact me for a private tour outside of opening hours 🙂