One Hand Clapping
Katarzyna Gajewska

Mar 23—Apr 9 2023

The title of this exhibition One Hand Clapping is derived from a kōan - a paradoxical word, phrase, or story used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the limits of logical thought and to bring about illumination. The kōan asks “We know the sound of two hands clapping. But what is the sound of one hand clapping?” Akin to a riddle, a kōan tires the mind as it attempts to ‘solve’ it. By exhausting one’s analytic intellect and the egotistic will, the mind is purged and thus creates space to embrace one’s intuition.

This body of work by Katarzyna Gajewska is the material manifestation of such a ‘purge’. Gajewska empties her mind onto the canvas, translating and transforming her intuitive thoughts into textured, tangible, organisms with a heightened sense of materiality. After 3 years of intensive painting transitioning from figurative to abstraction, Gajewska’s work is no longer bound by order, it is a meditation on both the artist’s inner and outer landscape, free from convention and grounded in the artist’s process of making the unconscious, conscious.

Hidden in her paintings are objects with sentimental resonance such as an electrocardiogram from an extended period in hospital and remnants of soil from the Ballinskelligs in Kerry. Although, colour truly is the protagonist in this body of work. It moves between each painting like a rapturous wave, imprinting abstract patterns upon the canvas. The artist treats colour as a language, each tone reflecting a word, expressing the artist’s story. One Hand Clapping surveys Gajewska’s innermost thoughts, revelations and shadows in a series of paintings that are underpinned by sincere vulnerability.

Gajewska graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts as a Master of Fine Arts in 2005. During her time there, she was awarded a Ministry of Culture Scholarship. She is a prolific recipient of the residency program at Cill Rialaig in Kerry, Ireland. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally including in the UK, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Scotland and the USA. Her work has been collected by both private and public collections including the OPW.

Exhibition Video

Shot and Edited by Niko Salvino
Score by Kev Sheridan