Art Foundry Magazine

I have just been interview by Jasmine Meekings. She is one of the editors of the Art Foundry Magazine. This quarterly publication comments on a broad range of developments and complexities in the contemporary creative world. It contains several exciting interviews with artists from all-over-the-world and interprets their work and achievements.

The transcript of the interview is below:

  1. What is your contribution to the Virtual Summer Exhibition 2020 and what has motivated you to create this body of work?

Normally, we hold an end-of-the-year exhibition at the Gallery at South Devon College.  Due to the pandemic, we were forced to move to the online learning environment.  To make this event even more meaningful and exciting, I have reached out to a wide range of artists from all-over-the-world and a selection of former students.  This has helped to elevate the prestige of this event and enable it to be viewed by many more people across different international boundaries, locations and time zones.

All staff have also been invited to exhibit their work to create a sense of cohesive artistic community.   I will be taking part in the Virtual Summer Show and present my recent paintings and video work.  These pieces were developed in response to my long-term research project based on exploring human responses to hypnotic repetition.  I have gathered a broad range of primary sources from my travels.  The most significant work was produced in consequence of my experiences in Haiti, Azerbaijan, Thailand and Myanmar.

2. What has your response been to COVID-19 as an artist? Has it affected your practice or how you operate?

The current lockdown has given me a chance to reflect on both my practice and the research findings.  Subsequently, my present observations contradict the former status quo. The repetitive and mundane existence of people, who genuinely struggle with their survival has become something they yearn for.  The nightmare of the past is now a desired dream for the future.

Paradoxically, the crisis has had a very positive and broadening impact on my visual exploration, journey of thought and understanding of the human tragedy and challenges.

3. What would you say is the role of an artist during this pandemic? Furthermore, what would your message be to other artists during this time?

The role of an artist is to develop a response to the broader contexts and visualise a subjective interpretation of the world.  The pandemic encourages everyone to become creative and substitute access to unlimited resources with ideas, invention and a deep reflection.

Therefore, ‘the artist’ should be seen as a commentator and a sensitive observer of the dynamics within the turbulent and ever-changing contemporary society.

We are all very privileged to be able to watch history being made and recorded for posterity.

This exhibition will be an authentic document of a unique set of circumstances, hopefully not to be repeated anytime soon.  

Pav Szymanski

painter

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