The introduction to the catalogue:
“We put the thought of all that we love into all that we make.”
The Elves in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R. Tolkien
Why Friends and Why 44?
When I began my adventure in jewellery forty-four years ago, I never thought it would last this long or that it would become so important to me. Back then, not only the year 2014, now in progress, but even the coming of the 21st century seemed like an extremely faraway future impossible to grasp for even a fertile imagination. Now, when I look back, this space-time, made hazy by the imperfections of memory seems to be saturated with recollections, images and flashes of events that are not susceptible to any attempts to fully assess or summarise them.
What has remained though, is a feeling of a continuity of identity. Back then, people who were at the age I am now seemed so old to me and so different from me, young in body and soul, that they seemed as if from another world. Society and culture were also completely different. Today, it’s turned out that, although I have been a genealogical grandfather for years now and cognitive instruments have become so much better, I have remained in my mind the same child who strives to comprehend the world. And, although I have already travelled quite a long road for a human lifetime, I still feel that I am only at its beginning. I’ve just accumulated information stored in my memory and have a stronger awareness of the really limited maximum time I have left for further travel. However, instead of like the poet Julian Tuwim asking God to “Please, leave me for another life, like keeping me down in the same grade for another year,” I just ask for a little more time to finish my works in progress and to share the new thoughts I feel are important and good with my friends.
My ancestors come from the Vilnius region and Adam Mickiewicz was to them a fellow countryman and a poet of special importance. After my parents’ generation regained an independent Poland for twenty years after World War I and, after their self-sacrificing fight on the various fronts of World War II, found itself under Soviet occupation, hypocritically called the ‘Polish Peoples’ Republic,’ when dreams of breaking free from this yoke seemed almost utopian, Polish Romantic poetry returned to its role as an important medium of cultural continuity and national tradition and took on new, contemporary connotations. The mysterious ‘number forty and four’ from Adam Mickiewicz’s poetic drama became one of my childhood’s favourite riddles and has remained a special number even today, just like other memories from that time. That is why, when Legnica Gallery of Art Director Zbyszek Kraska offered me an opportunity to have an exhibition in the forty-fourth year of my career, I enthusiastically accepted his invitation even though it was completely foolhardy from the point of view of preparing an appropriate collection.
When I developed the exhibition’s concept, a key factor was my conviction that my life’s most important achievements are not material objects, but interpersonal ties, spread out in space-time like the Indra’s Net in Buddhism, consisting of pearls placed in such a way that every pearl simultaneously reflects all the others and the entire universe.
That is why I decided that the exhibition held on the 44th anniversary of my career in art, but also as an educator, curator etc., will consist of two equal parts. My works and the works of my friends who I invited. Of course, neither of these parts is comprehensive. I would rather say that they are a long way from being complete. To make them complete would be impossible. Which is just as well, because what is closed ceases to live. Such incompleteness does not mean untruthfulness.
The part dedicated to my friends and made thanks to their kindness is like a meeting, where those who were invited showed up because they could and wanted to. I am immensely grateful to them all. Not only because they have graced my exhibition with their works, but most of all because they have confirmed our ties of friendship.
The part of the exhibition consisting of my pieces is like the flotsam and jetsam of a lone sailor’s boat washed upon the shore. The sailor survived the disaster and tries to continue his voyage, but can these fragments be arranged into a coherent whole?
I’m sure of one thing – the common thread in all my works is that it they contain traces of thoughts about what I love, what is dearest to me. And this confession, which is already intimate enough, must suffice. Too detailed commentary destroys what Umberto Eco considers the conditio sine qua non of a work of art – a certain measure of mystery, a haze of ambiguity which allows the viewer to exercise their imagination and constant reinterpretation.
Translated by Piotr Luba
|Duration||27 November 2014 - 28 February 2015|
|Cost||Tuesday is a free enter day|
|Venue||Amber Museum Gdansk|
|Address||Zespol Przedbramia ulicy Dlugiej Gdansk 80-836, ,|
|Contact||+48 58 301 47 33 / firstname.lastname@example.org / mhmg.pl/oddzial/17/amber-museum|