In Patching Femininity, artist Olga Anacka explores and challenges visual representations of femininity and the female body in western culture.
Comprising a dozen embroidered tapestries, this body of work is very personal, with images derived from the artist’s memory and family archive, juxtaposed with symbolic representations of the feminine drawn from internet searches and commonplace stereotypes.
The artist examines the subject from the perspective of a mature, migrant woman who has experienced significant social change. In an honest conversation, she questions what is expected as feminine and attempts to define her personal position.
In developing this exhibition, the artist references Polish Critical Art of the 1990s, in particular the work of Alicja Żebrowska, Ela Jabłońska, Zbigniew Libera and Anna Baumgart. She is inspired by authors such as Catherine Blackledge and Annie Ernaux, as well as memoirs of Kazimiera Czerniec who was her great-great-aunt born circa 1890.
About the Artist Olga Anacka is a migrant conceptual artist working in mixed media from her Newbridge studio. Born in 1977 in Poland, she graduated from University of the Arts in Poznan in 2004. A year later, she won a distinction in Olsztyn Art Biennial for the metal and clay installation, part of Sacred Landscapes series. Her Cocoons, fabric sculptures from ME<MATERNITY project, were shortlisted for Celeste Prize 2011 in Rome and 2012 in New York. Olga also received the ARTstap Open Submission Award in 2012 for the same body of work, and shortly after took a break in the art career until 2019. She partakes in Cill Rialaig project and is a member of Visual Artists Ireland as well as Kildare Art Collective. Most recently, she was awarded Tyrone Guthrie Residency 2023 from Kildare County Council.
Official opening: Thursday 1 February, 7pm. All welcome!
Artist Talk Friday 8 March, 7pm.
Patching Femininity Workshops Thursday 22 February, 7pm Saturday 16 March, 10:30am
Patching Femininity McKenna Gallery Thursday 1 February – Saturday 23 March Monday-Friday 9:30am-5pm | Saturday 10am-1pm Admission Free