The Liberating Power of Art

An exhibition titled The Liberating Power of Art is one of the accompanying events of the X Convention of Gniezno. Held under the auspices of the Warsaw Chapter of the Union of Polish Artists and Designers, it will be on display in the AMU European Culture Institute. Its launch will take place during the sessions of the Convention, on Saturday, 12 March 2016, at 1:15 pm.

The show, curated by Dariusz Kowalski, will display work by 28 artists representing such art disciplines as painting, sculpture and graphic design. The authors include: Prof. Marian Czapla, Jolanta Czernecka, Witold Damasiewicz, Alina Dorada-Krawczyk, Anna Forycka-Putiatycka, Majid Jammoul, Larysa Jaromska, Marek Jaromski, Dariusz Kowalski “Kodar”, Filip Amadeusz Kowalski, Łukasz Krupski, Bożenna Leszczyńska, Jacek Maślankiewicz, Jan Molga, Tadeusz Molga, Joanna Mrozowska, Eugeniusz Mucha, Zbigniew Nowosadzki, Teresa Pastuszka–Kowalska, Beata Popławska–Walusiak, Paweł Przyrowski, Barbara Pszczółkowska-Kasten, Tadeusz Szadeberg, Adela Szwaja, Mateusz Środoń, Anna Alicja Trochim, Maria Wollenberg–Kluza, and Prof. Kazimierz Gustaw Zemła.

The icon of the Merciful Christ, a reprint of Mateusz Środoń’s work from the Church of the Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Warsaw-Międzylesie, is the principal artistic motif of the X Convention of Gniezno. We also make use of the Christian Tablet from Paweł Przyrowski’s Triptych, made for the VI Convention of Gniezno (2005).

The sculptures by Dariusz Kowalski, inspired by Romanesque baptismal fonts, both directly refer to Poland’s Baptism from 1050 years ago and incorporate contemporary motifs. Niobe by Prof. Gustaw Zemła     draws on the dramatic millennium of Polish history. Filip Amadeusz Kowalski’s installation titled Crucifixion, in turn, is a depiction of the idea of Poland as the Messiah of nations. The young sculptor Łukasz Krupski prepared sculptures of five figures who to his mind are of key importance for the history of the Church in Poland.

Other works, especially paintings, are expressive of a profound hope for a better future. The paintings by Anna Alicja Trochim, Alina Dorada-Krawczyk and Jan Molga are imbued with the joy of the Divine light; other paintings trigger reflection and contemplation on the essence of Polish tradition and culture, its roots, origins and the entire history.

The Passion works by Jolanta Czernecka, Prof. Marian Czapla and Eugeniusz Mucha are deeply touching. Marek Jaromski’s Angels feature proudly on flags and standards. Larysa Jaromska’s Kings are the executors of Mieszko I’s will. The exhibition is sentinelled by sculptures by Teresa Pastuszka–Kowalska: two Guardian Angels of Poland with Marian shields.

The exhibit displays works by Polish artists inspired by sacred art. Their oeuvre, then, is a perfect example of combining the old and the new, tradition and the present, of both restoring and passing to the posterity the cultural legacy of our ancestors.

The authors were inspired by John Paul II’s words from his Letter to Artists: “Society needs artists, just as it needs scientists, technicians, workers, professional people, witnesses of the faith, teachers, fathers and mothers, who ensure the growth of the person and the development of the community by means of that supreme art form which is “the art of education”. Within the vast cultural panorama of each nation, artists have their unique place. Obedient to their inspiration in creating works both worthwhile and beautiful, they not only enrich the cultural heritage of each nation and of all humanity, but they also render an exceptional social service in favour of the common good”.

The Liberating Power of Art will remain on display in the AMU European Culture Institute until 8 April 2016.