Milena Kowalska (PL)
Text written by GHA
Milena Kowalska creates naturalistic black and white linoleum prints depicting forests. Her detailed line work gives the prints a rough texture reminiscent of film grain. The entire image contains this graininess and leaves no part of the paper untouched.
The forests have been robbed of their tranquillity and earthly essence by the rough textures and monochrome colour.
Bare trees, rivers and bushes are sometimes only indicated by black areas. While vibrant, bright colours are the true indicators of nature’s vibrancy and exuberance, the monochrome forests exude sadness, abandonment and a sense of restlessness, challenging the viewer to fathom nature’s wild and untamable side.
Sharp and thin lines are the defining element of the prints. Vertical lines used for the trunks lead the viewer’s eye from the lower part of the image to the upper part, where the trees meet the illuminated sky. The imposing trees look down on the viewer as if man is so small compared to the splendour of nature. A watercourse is drawn in, but the water itself is a negative, empty space surrounded by stones and grass. Through this particular use of space, the water can only be perceived after the viewer has taken note of the other motifs. The different stroke widths and the juxtaposition of black and white surfaces create a mysterious, meditative mood in the prints and one is invited to explore Milena’s woods for the undiscovered with great care.
Forest Dark Forest Stream