For her show at PAPER Alicja Mrozowska presents a new series of deconstructed self-portraits, Building in the Dark. Each individual work is a manipulation of external pieces of ‘home’ that forms a site-specific work in response to the gallery. Made up of separate bricks, Mrozowska’s intervention in PAPER2 conveys our ability influence our surroundings, rather than be influenced by them, creating a concept of ‘home’. Brick-like landscapes form spatial planes that reference the artist’s own autobiography, establishing the slippery quality of identity. The work further reflects the constructed aspect of identity that is self-curated and constrained to make it more digestible for others. This process is a projection of Mrozowska’s natural inclination as a maker (a prevalent quality in her family members), which allows the work to speak on her behalf. The ability of her paintings to communicate these sophisticated impulses is an unwavering source of contentment.
The paintings themselves, respond to the places, ideas, and people that have offered the artist security and safety. There is an ever-present internal dialogue woven from the sense of place that forms within Mrozowska. As she builds images of herself, often fluid and unsettled, the paintings attempt to convey a sense of the place where the artist can gain a sense of ‘home’. As a dual nationality citizen, the current political dialogue underpins the work. Mrozowska’s current sense of ‘home’ is constantly shifting, yet within the work she is able to unpack and settle.
Mrozowska attempts to portray an image of the self-acceptance that exists beyond these continued fluctuations. It can be tiring to be restless; however, these paintings depict some of the shifts that are happening right now as a normal aspect of life. In this instance, the tricky nature of the self is celebrated in the representation of an identity of a migrant, as well as the gendered and sexual self. Mrozowska transforms these aspects of a life into her palette.
About Alicja Mrozowska
Alicja Mrozowska is an artist and painter. Born in Warsaw, she moved to the UK in 2005 and graduated from the University of Salford in 2018 with a BA in Visual Arts. She has participated in group residencies at the MerzBarn in Ambleside, and John Latham’s Flat Time House in London. Alicja first exhibited as part of the first Women’s Equality Party conference. Her first solo exhibition was a commission for HOME titled Unpacking, shown as part of PUSH festival 2019. Alicja is part of the collective Celery Works based in Blackpool.