The easiest and at the same time the most complete and natural way of expression for me is painting, drawing, or any form of visual art and every so often I am asked to give a verbal comment on my form of art. To point to a source of inspiration may be difficult for many reasons but I believe understandable.
Most people are very attached to what is called ”narration” i.e. they treat the image itself as a message which is not complete. Others just want to know something more about the picture or the artist. They want to compare what they assume with what they perceive to be “real”. I have deliberately put real in quotation marks since “real” itself does not exist. Each and every interpretation is correct and appropriate. There is no such thing as a ”mistakenly interpreted painting”.
The painting does not have a separate life. Initially it comes to life with the painter in the studio, then with the viewer and then occasionally with someone who becomes the owner. For me the painting by itself is something magical, real and surreal, trivial yet holy. Every time someone is looking at it it is recharged with energy. Every time someone is giving it a chance by looking at it, feeling it, admiring it.
My works are full of human figures (mostly female), of animals, of outwardly insignificant objects but each and every one of them has its own role and tells its owns story it symbolizes, pretends, presents. I am fascinated by a combination of nature and civilization, abandoned factories, houses, boats which are slowly rotting away, entwined eaten, and swallowed by the forces of nature. Post apocalyptical visions where people are back to their tribal roots. The masks, the rituals, the disguises. The power of the animals as our holy brothers. Primitive alters, small shrines. Cuttings, the crumbs, the leftovers all put into geometrical patterns and gaining a new meaning.
My paintings –the spells
My paintings-the talismans
My paintings-the totems
Human beings with the head of animals, people inside the animals, the human silhouettes in the excavated pits.
Escape, isolation,loneliness, love, death and more important than all the others fear. Art as an attempt to confront my fears, art as a way of taming my personal demons. Painting as a way of putting a spell on time, painting as a rescue, painting as a way of giving a meaning to the meaninglessness of life
In recent years as a consequence of this kind of thinking about art I started to include embroidery into my work To my on classical canvas paintings. Somehow it takes painting out of the pedestal, makes it closer to the craft and at the same time gives it more dimension (literally and figuratively)
Often, what is conveyed with thread is less real, more surprising, less obvious. Embroidery for me is a different way of concentration. It is a quiet still act when each stitch represents a moment passed. Embroidery - a timeless craft, the act that transcends the boundaries of painting.
Anna Stankiewicz – Odoj is a Polish citizen currently living in Portugal.
Her academic career started when she studied painting under the direction of Professor Roma Halat at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland from where she graduated with a Master of Arts degree in 1994. Anna’s subsequent study was for a PhD in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland which she successfully completed in 2002.
From 1996 until 2010 Anna has held the position of Professor specialising in painting, drawing and design at the University of Olsztyn, Poland. This is a position which she currently still maintains in abstentia. Whilst holding this position Anna was also declared the winner of the prestigious “Biennial of Art” prize in 2003 at the BWA Gallery in Olsztyn, Poland.
In addition to her academic career Anna has demonstrated her expertise in many individual and collective exhibitions not only in her native country of Poland but also internationally. Listed below are only a few of the exhibitions which she has presented or participated in.
Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Łodzi
Academy of Fine Arts ,Lodz
PhD Academy of Fine Arts,Warsaw
1993 “Dada” Gallery, Lodz, Poland
1995 Association of Polish Professional Artists Gallery, Olsztyn, Poland.
1998 Art Museum of Northern Jutland, Denmark.
1998 Polish – German Centre of Youth, Olsztyn, Poland.
2001 National Broadcast Gallery, Olsztyn, Poland.
2002 Museum of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland.
2003 “Spiseloppen” Gallery. Copenhagen, Denmark.
2003 City Centre of Culture “Rynek”, Olsztyn, Poland.
2005 “Ode to Red” Bean Bag Bohemia Gallery, Durban, Republic of South Africa
2006 “Zaulek” Gallery, Olsztyn, Poland.
2008 City Art Gallery, Perugia, Italy.In this exhibition Professor Anna Stankiewicz – Odoj’s art work was presented along with that of other resident professors from the University of Olsztyn, Poland
2008 "Amfilada" Gallery, Olsztyn, Poland
2009 “Pois Café”,Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal.
2009 “Atelier 166” Estoril, Portugal.
2010 "Ouvindo Chopin",Casa de Santa Maria,Cascais, Portugal
2011 "Totem Polaco", Lisbon, Portugal
2011 "Art for Peace'' , Barcelona, Spain
2012 "In Between",Fabrica do Braço de Prata,Lisbon,Portugal
2012 "Pocztowki spod Swiadomosci",Olsztyn,Poland
2012 "Lisbon Upside Down",Galeria Salgadeiras,Lisbon,Portugal
2012 "Ternura das Coisas"Fábrica Braço de Prata,Lisbon,Portugal
2013 "Os mitos, sem querer" Centro Cultural do Cartaxo,Portugal
2013 Casa da Achada-Centro Mário Dionisio,Lisbon,Portugal
2013 17ª Bienal de Cerveira,Portugal, participation with one work selected
2014 Individual art show in Koszary Dragonow,Olsztyn;Poland