Paola Ciarska


Preview evening: 9th February 5pm until 9pm

Exhibition runs until 15th April

We are delighted to be working with Paola, who will be showing Coming Along Nicely over two venues - Gallagher and Turner, 30 St Mary's Place, Newcastle (10th February - 15th March), and Globe Gallery until 15th April.

Beautiful things come in small packages
The artist Paola Ciarska has succeeded in taking what could be described as the minutia of life, the human condition and everyday objects, reduced them, literally [think ‘Honey I Shrunk The Kids’, but on a far more cerebral and sensual level], to create images that are larger than life. No mean feat. Whilst Paola paints in miniature, the detail draws one into the intricate and private lives of her subjects. It could be anyone’s home, any room, but we [the viewer] are permitted to observe, absorb the detail and atmosphere, without interruption, or consequence . . .

There’s so much detail, the artwork cheekily beckoning one into the delights within, not unlike a modern day peep show. Not least a sensuality, drawing a similarity to the modern day craving for the ever present ‘reality’ show. I guess - “outside looking in.”

There is so much magic, electricity - imagination in the work that it subliminally invokes a narrative in the viewer too.

Ciarska, nine years resident in Newcastle, hales from Poland and it’s from there that she draws much of her influence for the graphic geometric backgrounds of her rich paintings. The finely detailed gouache rendered backdrops come from her strong and warm memories of wallpaper designs whilst growing up. There’s much to see, so much detail - these brightly lit rooms, a vibrance of not only colour, but a cacophony of objects and sensations, making the viewers eye return again and again, taking in more detail not seen on first viewing.

Paola says - “Throughout my time at university I’ve experimented with numerous artistic disciplines in order to find one that will enable me to sieve through my eclectic bank of ideas. I wanted to create work that would be accessible to everyone, something that would allude towards a humorous commentary of the human condition. I wanted to create a self portrait that would function as a mirror to whoever laid eyes on it. So one morning I got up and became a painter. A painter whose brush had just 3 strands of hair.” Ciarska often paints with make-up brushes.
It’s delightfully evident that she revels in the detail of her work, spending at least thirty hours on each painting, much of that time in the early hours of the morning, when the rest of the world’s asleep; time-zones not withstanding. These lengthy sessions become ‘condensed’ as Paola’s enthusiasm takes over:

“I enjoy getting lost in the labour of a marathon painting session. Once I have established a particular structure and layout for a certain vision, I get myself into a haze of obsessive intricate detail application. Repetition provides me with a rhythm which vibrates through each piece as a silent soundtrack. My most recent miniature gouache series titled ‘Like an onion looking into a mirror?’ serves as a humorous universal representation of a wired, technologically aware, 21st century human being. Over-sharing of private information we witness on daily basis turns us into self proclaimed voyeurs, without necessarily comprehending why and how those voyeuristic qualities got attached to our daily life rituals. It is an exaggerated, humorous commentary on people being people. People with smart phones and even smarter Facebook responses.”

Paola’s Globe Gallery exhibition [she will be the first young and recently graduated artist to have a solo show at Globe Gallery since opening twenty-one years ago] is the latest in a fast growing list of achievements since graduation, having exhibited at the Kingsgate Gallery in London, the Exchange Rates Exposition in New York and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art; as well as several projects in the North East. Paola was also awarded the Hatton Purchase Prize, in June 2016, when one of her paintings became part of the Hatton Gallery Collection.

These beautifully small packages are already making a large impact.

David Houghton