Jacek Swigulski
paintings / drawings


Museum of Cinematography, Łódź, Poland – exhibition of painting and drawing



Instinctively seeking peace and relaxation I run away from the industrial views of neurotic, machine-like cities and I hide somewhere far away, in the vast space of the landscape.


Silence, harmonized colours, only a slight, almost imperceptible movements. Tortured senses gradually relieve their activity. This allows me to see clearly the aesthetic dimension of nature. Now the rhythm of the landscape, the observed structure of matter and the expressive colour contrast constitute a coherent wholeness, within which solely individual forms take on meaning. Just free the imagination from the fear of intrusive daub and the landscape extends freely. There are no boundaries for any details. There are no longer trees, benches, churches, chapels, houses and streets here. There is not even a human being. Obvious meanings are blurred because space does not mean anything. It is just being there. The space smells. The space penetrates your skin with its moisture or scratches your throat with dry air. The physical presence constantly accompanies you as soon as you realize it. And the man? As a part of the landscape one suddenly loses validity. Decreases, shrinks, finally collapses into infinity and disappears.


My trust in the inner intuition ultimately leads me in the painting to the synthesis and simplification of forms. But this is not the result of any arbitrarily adopted artistic program. Quite the contrary. Painting is usually not guided by logic or any theory. In pursuing further topics I often deliberately give up the knowledge workshop, which should give great comfort. Instead I keep experimenting and searching for new solutions, which reflect better the nature of the theme being developed. I choose this uncertain way, even at the cost of mistakes and failures. That’s why my works are ultimately diverse. Quite as diverse my perception of space, nature, events, and people in different places and circumstances. They are not a coherent artistic expression, but an inconsistent testimony of my sense of the World.


Their only common feature is the desire to preserve the freshness of perspective. Thus it is hard to talk about specific creative assumptions, but the purposeful lack of any principles is a creative assumption in itself. Undoubtedly the rejection of unnecessary rules and the inclusion of self-image in the area of life experience is something of an artistic credo. Adopting this perspective allows me to keep observing the World through the eyes of a child constantly surprised by the vastness and complexity of images just seen. Therefore, the next time I stand in front of a blank canvas I always want above all to remain free from prejudices and assumptions; I just want to see and feel. This allows me to approach with my self-image much closer to the World than if I painted everything I know about it. I can confront it on the verge of personal understanding, somewhere between understanding and feeling.


Shrouded in silence I am going nowhere. When I listen to the whisper of nature I can only see its bare structure, its amazing wealth of textures and mysterious colourfulness. Recognizing the tense drama of endless landscape, I want to understand and uncover its psychological depth, to know the principle of its dynamics and structure. Naively searching for a meaning of a small piece of space cut out of the wholeness I am still asking fields, meadows and trees about what constitutes its shared uniqueness. And in response I get only my subjective images.


Jacek Świgulski
translation: Agata Matusiak