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Opening Hours

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm


Art Agenda Nova
Batorego 2, Krakow

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Katarzyna Kukuła


curator: Iga Urbańska

Misteria’s exhibition is a multifaceted story about the relationship between man and extrasensory reality. Focuses on the subject of shamanic mysteries and the experience of the primeval forces of nature, shown in the cosmogonic context, as creative powers, becoming apologies to old customs and beliefs.

The paintings presented at the exhibition are full of unobvious allusions, metaphors and symbols. On some fragments of the body, transforming into elements of nature and the cosmos, they form an integral whole with the landscape. On others there are references to shamanic iconography and pagan tradition. The motifs present in the paintings, such as the representation of the Space Tree or the eagle – the bearer of the soul in the afterlife that is the embodiment of the caring spirit, are transferred to the immaterial world.

The interest in the sphere of corporeality and sexuality, was shown by the artist from both a woman’s perspective, incorporating the Mysteries into feminist discourse, as well as in a more universal and existential approach. The reality created by her refers to what in man is untamed and attributed to nature, showing the intangible attributes of his spiritual side and is an expression of submission to feelings and instincts towards which the rational mind remains powerless. At the same time, it is an affirmation of the woman’s free sexuality and vitality. The enormous portrait of the archetypal Hekate, which is the embodiment of the Great Mother myth, as well as the guardian of the underground world, is an allegory of feminine power. References to the matriarchal culture and to the symbolism of cosmic phenomena create a clear thread of narrative. The repetitive motif of the moon refers to the pagan matriarchal tradition, one of the most important foundations of which was the coexistence with nature. The paintings remind us of the importance of lunar consciousness, eliminated by patriarchal religions, which represents faith in the necessity of living in harmony with nature and surrendering it, against the contemporary desire to organize it and the existence of the creative power of the universe based on the symbiosis of the masculine and feminine elements. As if in opposition to the domination of the former, the presence of the female element is intuitively perceptible in almost every work.

The works presented at the exhibition are the next stage in the artist’s artistic development. Her early work is hedonistic visions maintained in vivid colors and sprinkled with a bit of a bawdy joke; complicated, multiform narratives boiling with eroticism. The artist takes up the subject of discovering sexuality, needs of the body, searching for new experiences, striving for erotic satisfaction. In the works that make up Misteria, the idyllic atmosphere and camp aesthetics disappears, and the paintings are lost in the dark. The girl’s style gives way to a more feminine, existential, more mature look. Candy pastels have been supplanted by deeper, more saturated colors. The former density of the form disappeared, the composition has been simplified. Macrocosmos has replaced micro.

Iga Urbańska

Katarzyna Kukuła – born 1987. A graduate of the Faculty of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, she obtained her diploma in the studio of prof. Leszek Misiak. He deals with painting, artistic fabric and animated film. She received the Rectors’ Award of the Academy of Fine Arts at the exhibition ‘The Best Diplomas of the Academy of Fine Arts 2012’. He lives and works in Krakow.

Selected exhibitions:

‘In the bosom of nature’, Solvay Center for Contemporary Art, Krakow, 2011
‘Królowe Lodów’, Galeria Zderzak, Cracow 2011
‘Siostro Basen’, as part of the FAMA festival, North Swimming Hall, Świnoujście, 2011
‘Lights Between Letters’, exhibition by Katarzyna Kukuły and Katarzyna Podpory, ‘Piwnica pod cieniami’, Krosno, 2013
‘Świńskie obrazki’, Galeria M, Wrocław, 2013
‘Piła Saw’, Kuku Kuku Group exhibition, Zderzak Gallery, Krakow 2013
Between eleven o’clock and twelve o’clock at night, with the full moon, the dark-haired girl sneaks into the forest. It runs silently between wild lashes. Arriving at the most remote fragment of the forest, the girl with honey-sweet lips kneels down. The earth is slightly damp, fluffy, small white fingers easily penetrate deeper and deeper into it. Soon she feels under her fingertips the blade she was looking for … A lone dark-haired child knows exactly what to do with him. From the clay-stained pouch he pulls out a piece of canvas shining in the darkness. Carefully wraps the object, then attaches it to a red string and goes away. He paces through the forest with a quick step. Silence. You can not even hear the hooting of an owl, howls of wolves in the distance. The girl, blinded by the moonlight, climbs the steep rocks, huge rock blocks spread around. He will reach the top soon. It’s getting closer. With each next step her breathing accelerates. Each subsequent pull up on the rock wall makes you hear better and more voices. It’s getting closer. Sharp rocks change in the moss-covered caves. The girl is pressing the package to her chest. He hurries past stone abandoned statues. It gets warmer when you exit the cave. However, this grueling way makes the girl want to stop for a moment, lean the heated forehead against the icy stone wall. This repeated once a year road is her only duty and purpose. He can not rest for a moment. Without it and the dagger hidden in the forest, the mysteries will not be able to begin …

Marta Kudelska