Paola Ciarska revels, excites and rejoices in the unrestrained potential of imagination. Each miniature painting stars a solitary figure, often wielding a selfie-stick, living out a virtual fantasy from the comfort of her living room (or sometimes the kitchen bench). The viewer is turned into a voyeur, spying on the indulgent private moments of an anonymous anti-hero that could easily be any one of us.
The paintings have a physical presence that far exceeds their small scale. Each work is packed with painterly detail. Rooms are filled with the trinkets of modern life, decorated with reproductions of modern masters and adorned with fairy-lights, all set against a psychedelic (and mildly suggestive) patterned background. Ciarska enjoys the labour of a marathon painting session, getting lost in the haze of its intricate, obsessive application.
Since graduating from Newcastle University in Summer 2016, Paola Ciarska has exhibited at the Kingsgate Gallery in London, and at the Exchange Rates Exposition in New York, as well as being involved in several projects in and around the North East, including at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. In June 2016 she was awarded the Hatton Purchase Prize, with one of her paintings becoming part of Hatton Gallery Collection.
Exhibitions at Gallagher & Turner:
Coming Along Nicely
10 February - 15 March 2017