Mandala Snowflake 2006

Exhibited at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery, Waterloo, ON
Curated by Virginia Eichhorn

Since 2000 my work frequently address issues of ‘uprootedness’ and the repercussions of displacement. I guess it all began when my family were taken from their homes in Poland and incarcerated in the Gulags of Siberia during World War II. This fragile personal history seems to creep its way into my creative output.

In Mandala Snowflake the environment is literally uprooted. Central to the exhibition is the mandalic image of a snowflake. The icon appears in four canvases whose surface is thick with ash, earth and red clay; cracks and fissures appear and chunks of charcoal protrude from the surface. These pieces surround a central installation called “What it takes to break”, which is suspended from the gallery ceiling and is composed of urethane castings of snowflake shapes, icy in appearance, alluding to frigid Siberian weather and emotions frozen in time. The “roots of clay”, like the expression “feet of clay” refers to a state of vulnerability, roots referring to one’s past culture or history. The installation hovers above the viewer, suspended in time and space, having two directional possibilities – ascending or plummeting…

Tina Poplawski / Artist Statement