We met with Polish artist Kinga Subicka in her current hometown Tavira, in a café facing the Gilão River.
Kinga Subicka, an attentive eye and a friendly smile, found in painting a way of expressing herself. With an arts-oriented curriculum, she left her home country in 2005 on the way to Belgium. She lived in Britain and Brazil, but it was in Tavira, Algarve, that she found her second home. She has been living here for eight years. Mother of two children and cats (as she mentions), Kinga Subicka found in teaching a way of changing the world, by passing to their students the values of the art and painting world.
Kinga had several solo exhibitions in Portugal under her name. She has also participated in projects with local associations such as Armação do Artista, “Partilha Alternativa”, the Polish Embassy in Lisbon and 365 Algarve. With a remarkable résumé, she was invited to exhibit at the Palácio da Galeria, in Tavira, and currently has the exhibition “Imagens Revisitadas/Revisited Images” at Casa Artesis as part of the festival “Álvaro de Campos Birthday Party”. Ms Subicka represented Poland at the Symposium on Contemporary Art in Guarda (SIAC4) dedicated to Portuguese poet Sophia de Mello Breyner. She will also represent Portugal at the Transfrontier Fair of Contemporary Art in Gibraleón, Spain.
AP: “You lived in the four corners of the Globe, why Tavira?”
KS: “Sometimes we think we have reached our destination, and we figure out that we are totally wrong. It was the twists and turns of life. I had a moment in my life when I needed to think about the right way to go. I discovered the Algarve and decided to come only for a month to refresh my thoughts and gain distances. In a month I managed to solve many things and ended up staying here, it’s been 8 years.
Art is present every day in our lives, but it doesn’t always have the desired support. Kinga has represented Portugal and Poland internationally, often without monetary support.
AP: “Have you had any support during these symposiums and exhibitions?”
KS: “The symposium was supported, but not everyone has it. There is a whole work behind that people don’t know. Each time we make a new exhibition we have to pick it up, buy paints, paintings, and it’s not always easy, even the transports, we need to pay. I even had exhibitions with the Polish embassy and even with the intention of representing Poland in Portugal, and all the success it had, the support was scarce. Maybe if companies or patrons started investing, creating partnerships would be a help. We have to open more doors to the world of arts ”
“Maybe if companies or patrons started investing, creating partnerships would be a help. We have to open more doors to the world of arts .”
AP: “Who is your audience?”
KS: “It’s hard to say, usually art lovers don’t have a specific age, but there could be younger people. For example, I’m part of Armação do Artista Association, and I hope one day our place will be ready to receiving public and become a centre of art, I think it will be a good start. Also, I usually paint live at Casa André Pilarte where I make exhibitions and paint at the same time for people.”
Kinga’s work is inspired by the human figure, emotions and what remains ‘inside and we put out’. She explained to The Algarve Post that even though she draws the human figure, she doesn’t like to draw realistic figures. According to Ms Subicka, “each theme it’s different and so our connection changes from theme to theme. There is always a red line in all my paintings. The hardest thing is getting to the first brushstroke, then everything flows.
“I feel that, as a resident, the Algarve has turned a lot to mass tourism and ends up forgetting who lives here and this often becomes limiting and frustrating for those who want to stay here”
AP: “What is your biggest reference?“
AP: “And your favourite Portuguese artist?“
KS: “Paula Rêgo!“
Kinga chose Portugal to host her art however when asked if she considered Portuguese art lovers, she answered us, “with a smirk that there could and should be more. But we are the result of the society we live in, and with the internet, everything is now digital. Sometimes I’m even afraid to put pictures on the internet because people use them, and they don’t even realize what this means for an artist.“
AP: “Is there a big Polish community in Portugal?“
KS: “For the last 8 years, we have been growing. I think most of them, at least in the Algarve, live between Portimão and Albufeira, but I’m a busy mother, I don’t have much time… ”(laughs).
AP: “Does the Algarve inspire you?“
KS: “I really like Tavira Island and nature here. I always stay on the island in September, by the way, my most recent exhibition at Álvaro de Campos was made on the Island, with a gas camping, a tent, a table and good to go. However, I feel that, as a resident, the Algarve has turned a lot to mass tourism and ends up forgetting who lives here and this often becomes limiting and frustrating for those who want to stay here. But of course, the light, the tiles, inspire me very much. Tavira has a special flair!“
‘Don’t you want to go back to Poland?”
“Leave our land and never be resident in a place. Our life becomes a puzzle as if we left parts of us scattered around. We live with permanent longing.“
AP: “What would you say to young artists who want to try their luck in Portugal?”
KS: “ What I always tell my students… If you can’t live without art, like air, you should fly! But it is a complicated path, of course. In Portugal, France, Poland, these are places where we can make progress. There are places in Portugal like Guarda, for example, that wants to be the capital of culture, there you can breathe art.“
Kinga Subicka will have exhibit her work at the Artesis Gallery from October 31st. “Autumn Hall: Open for Works”, in Guarda, will be on exhibition until January 9. The Polish artist will be accompanied by other Algarve artists (Krishea Hickman, Isabel Macieira, Jina Nebe, João Ribeiro and Urgelia Santos) as members of the Portuguese committee in Gibraleón.
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