Julia Michiewicz

Although my practice has been, for the past few years, primarily focused on photography, moving to the North of England in late 2019 prompted my rediscovery of painting. Whilst I continue exploring the notion of documentary through photographing, painting became an extension of my photographic body of work. Being a newcomer in Yorkshire reinforced my feelings of isolation, displacement and solitude, combined with my conflicted cultural and national identity, I felt an immense pressure to investigate those concepts further. The flat, simplified characters caught up in bizarre scenes, that I paint mostly in pastel colours, are an attempt to comprehend by simplification. This iconographic representation is inspired by photographs documenting social and political events in Poland and my reconstructive photos of actions and rituals I miss about my home and culture.

Attempting to decode those, now almost foreign and unclear narratives and sentiments, I engage in a long process of analysing the source documentations, hand drawing a simplified versions of them, sketching digital mock versions and finally painting them. Yet, this extensive and prolonged procedure instead of demystifying seems to complicate the already convoluted reality even further.


Harvest in the capital
Acrylic paint on birch panel
All of my childhood collections
Acrylic paint on birch panel

Washing the flag
Acrylic paint on birch panel