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Now in its sixth year, the SSA/Engramme Exchange Programme has been set up to create a dialogue between Scottish and Canadian artists working in the field of printmaking.

The winner of the 2015 Prize was Koralia Maciej and her exhibition runs in Engramme Print Studio in Quebec, Canada from May 7 – June 12, 2016.

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EMPIRE_2 Transforming spatial patterns into the experience 

As an artist I am interested in the process of overcoming an anxiety concerned with space. Seeing the space as ‘a place’, I translate and reinvent overlooked, abandoned fragments of the urban landscapes introducing a geometry of public space, the shapes and situations of architecture open to new narrations.

My artworks address an idea of the conceptual architecture. They convey a synthesis of composition, scale, chiaroscuro, contrast and illusion of a spatial depth. They refer to an ‘open form’ theory based on a concept of jigsaw puzzles, where parts of recreated reality are subjected to the narrative process of construction, deconstruction and reconstruction – an ongoing creation of the space between.

The composition EMPIRE_2 tailored to the Engramme gallery, corresponds beautifully with the site creating a dialog with the space as per one of the principles of my artistic approach. It keeps the process of creation alive and open for challenges related to existing spatial circumstances. The venue itself allows for flexible manipulation of spatial elements to achieve desirable structural effect of the arrangement of and relations between. The natural light enhances shadow nuisances and brings additional reflections and patterns which respond to the installation and create direct visual relationship by increasing the spatial continuum.

I structured spatial scenario in the form of the sequence of multi-layered elements. It introduces the notion of narrative as a continuation of movement in space, which contains episodes. It refers to the notion of imagined city/ies based on the fragment of Italo Calvino ‘Invisible Cities’, where the ‘[…] cities resembled one another, as if the passage from one to another involved not a journey but a change of elements. Now, from each city Marco described to him, the Great Khan’s mind set out on its own, after dismantling the city piece by piece, he reconstructed it in other ways, substituting components, shifting them, inverting them.’ [p.43], the composition opens possibilities of chance encounters and invites exploration or interpretation. It is a structure which exists in the dimension of time and movement, it becomes important not only as an object of art but during a process of inhabitation.

[…] cities are the work of the mind or of chance… Empire is structure, an opportunity and emerging condition… The relation is established between place and event that form and transform the spatial narratives and their constant interplay.

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