Self-Portrait, oil on canvas with collage elements. Part of the exhibition “Ethnicity through the Eyes of the Artist”, Abington Art Center

This Summer turned to be fantastically productive – many of my collages are being exhibited in the shows from Georgia to Wisconsin. When researching for opportunities, I changed my proposing strategy: I started offering my artwork for the exhibitions with an array of new themes – those, I’ve never considered before, from ethnicity to climate change. Letters of acceptance began landing in my inbox.

Collage is a unique genre. With the layers of mediums you also create layers of meaning. Abstract compositions can be interpreted and re-interpreted, again and again. For example, one of my collages refers to Zaha Hadid’s architecture – she is my big inspiration. This particular collage takes part in two shows themed around the climate situation on our planet. Initially created as an expression of a distorted world, the collage shows the urban landscape and how insignificant a human can feel in it. The patterns in the artwork can resemble the messiness of the city, noise pollution, a feeling of the constant pressure. At the same time, the content of the artwork offers a solution – curves instead of angles, new architectural aesthetics instead of cheaper buildings that were erected before.

For the show “Ethnicity through the Eyes of an Artist”, I submitted my self-portrait. Again, it’s collage elements that create the intrigue – the face consists of parts of porcelain, floral patterns that would decorate a dinner table at each home when I was a child. My ethnicity is not a line in my passport – my ethnicity is all those tea cups, ornaments, carved window frames of my grandparents’ home.

I’m happy to show my work in different states. It is the first time for my collages to be exhibited in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Wisconsin. And it’s a great feeling to realize that your artwork can tell stories, not just one but many.

Transience, mixed media collage inspired by Zaha Hadid’s architecture