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Print (MA)

Ania Rekas

Ania Rekas was born and raised in Poland. She graduated from BA Fashion Print (2018) at Central Saint Martins and is currently completing her MA Print (2021) at Royal College of Art. 

In her work, she paints imaginative stories she remembers from her childhood in Poland, focusing on female figures from her family and landscapes. 

In my work, I focus on topics connected to my family and nationality, especially the cult of icons in Poland and its strong connection with identity and cultural ritual. Icons seem to be a mythical topic, understood as physical objects and as a part of traditional culture. Through my practice, I want to narrate and create my own icons: places, people, objects that are close to me.

I usually work with monoprint and collage, encompassing drawing, photography, painting and textiles. I paint imaginative places from my childhood, and include figures of myself and my family members, especially women I admire. The figures are familiar, but after the collaging, they are just representations and objects. The landscape is shifting and each time shows a different family ‘season’. I rescale, isolate and detach them from the reality I know, placing them into a non-space unaffected by time. I reimage and deprive family members of relationships, leaving them and myself in this strange universe, where each of us becomes a silent icon.

Reconstructing family photos is a part of my visual language. The figures are absorbed into or stand out from the background and do not recognise each other's presence. They exist in space or wander around abstract landscapes without an exit point. People, objects, moments, and spaces from my childhood are taken from one timeline and moved to another. 


Places, where I cannot be. Places, figures, and me. 1
Places, where I cannot be. Places, figures, and me. 2
Places, where I cannot be. Places, figures, and me. 3
Places, where I cannot be. Places, figures, and me. 4
Places, where I cannot be. Places, figures, and me. 5
Places, where I cannot be. Places, figures, and me. 6
Places, where I cannot be. Places, figures, and me. 7

Collages and monoprints for ‘Places, where I cannot be. Places, figures and me’ (2021) highlight emotional states in a family’s life. These works are influenced by Zbigniew Rybczyński's animation, ‘Tango,’ where a place connects multiple strangers that are not aware of the others’ existence.

Medium:

monoprints with photography printed chine collé and paper ribbons on paper

Size:

50 x 100 cm on 76 x 112 cm paper
Places, where I cannot be. 1
Places, where I cannot be. 2
Places, where I cannot be. 3
Places, where I cannot be. 4

‘Places, where I cannot be’ (2021) is a project about people, objects, moments, and spaces from my childhood that are taken from one timeline and moved to another. I wanted to recontextualise the landscape and various situations from my life and put them into one universe.

Medium:

monoprints with paper ribbons on paper

Size:

50 x 100 cm on 76 x 112 cm paper

‘Places, where I want to be/Tiny collages’ (2021) are a series of small collages in which I reimagine my childhood places, colours that I remember, as well as family members. The figures come out from the abstract landscape, where small scratching marks reveal moments in time and personal attachment.

Medium:

collage: crayons, oil pastels and photographs on paper

Size:

around 8.5 x 8.5 cm

'Places, where I want to be' (2021) is a small risography book, where I collaged together photos, cut-outs from a Cricoteka Museum leaflet, and oil pastel drawings.

Medium:

30 pages, accordion book, risography

Size:

10 x 15 cm

‘Onaaa’ (2021) meaning ‘she’ in Polish, was an idea for a series of collages, based on my family photos and a Cricoteka’s leaflet that I took with me to London. I cut out shapes and emphasized some words to create a visual game with my drawings. I focused on colour, light, and the space around the figure who both represents and is unfamiliar to me at the same time.

Medium:

collage: paint, oil pastel, crayon, leaflet on paper

I made landscape sketches and monoprints that I call ‘And you can pretend, that you can go for a walk’ (2021). It is based on my walks in parks during the lockdown and memories from the summer in Poland. The title is influenced by lyrics of the song ‘Chłopcy’ by Myslovitz.

Medium:

monoprints and oil pastel with paper ribbons on paper

Size:

monoprints 45.5x60.8 cm on 56.7x76 cm paper, sketches 9x15 cm
Ghost of Tatras/ icon 1
Ghost of Tatras/ icon 2
Ghost of Tatras/ icon 3
Ghost of Tatras/ icon 4

‘Ghosts of Tatras’ (2020) is inspired by my uncle’s photographs of the Tatra Mountains taken around 20 years ago. Tatra is an iconic place associated with nature, folklore, but also freedom. My uncle’s photographs give me nostalgic feelings of what is familiar. I think of these paintings on wood panel as icons, themselves. Produced last summer, this work is the starting point for the rest of the projects I have made since that time.

Medium:

woodcuts with oil pastel and acrylic paint on wood panels

Size:

around 89 x 100 cm, 60 x 60 cm, 25 x 90 cm and 25 x 80 cm