Olga Dmowska

born 1983

Olga Dmowska uses the medium of painting to work through traumas experienced during her childhood. But rather than depict any concrete events, her paintings draw on the emotional and mental wreckage left behind by those events. The artist portrays her mental life by transferring the traces of trauma, deeply hidden in her subconscious, onto the canvas. For this purpose, she uses ambivalent fairy tale poetics: the cruelty of certain scenes is depicted with a warm palette of colours, mixing pain with pleasure, terror with calm. Figurative elements seamlessly give way to abstraction. The most important carrier of emotion in Dmowska's paintings is the expressive use of intense colours often contrasted with black. The composition seems to comprise independent fragments, devoid of detail, blurred. In this way, the artist depicts the work of memory and the way in which memories are stored in our subconscious. ‘The Beginning of the Night’ portrays three characters, only the first of which — a child — retained their physical integrity. Between the child and the other two figures, Dmowska placed an enigmatic, terrifying, but simultaneously time fairy tale-like figure in a black mask. Probably, it is her who is the cause of the progressing degradation of the bodies: the second figure has no legs and the third one, in a dress, has no head. The scene becomes a projection of traumatic childhood memories.

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