Basia Bańda


December 8 2023  –  January 27, 2024

Although the title of the exhibition may seem unclear, once deciphered, it provides an important clue to the interpretation of Basia Bańda’s latest works. Undoubtedly, their titles will give us some further hints. They usually refer to specific places and situations related to those sites. The circumstances elicit memories, which, in turn, evoke emotions. The intermediary between geographical points and human feelings is the artist’s body.

Fernweh is one of those German phrases that encapsulate multiple meanings and emotions in a single word. It is traditionally explained as a longing for a distant (fern) world or a desire to be somewhere you have never been before. What is this distant world for Basia and where does it actually end? How much of it is imagined by her, how much is unknown, and which parts of it has she already explored? In a context of ceaseless wandering, the memory stored in her body serves as her compass. It shows the north and all the furthest points on the artist’s map. Emotions become the next coordinates – a collection of fears, delights, insecurities, and dreams. Travelling across a distant world, one might also feel homesick, which translates into German as Heimweh haben. The artist’s journey can thus be understood more broadly than just a change in her location on the globe. Although Bańda continues to use abstract imagery, she adds further elements to her painting vocabulary. They include hitherto unknown expressions as well as phrases borrowed directly from dictionaries, encyclopaedias, art albums, or cuttings from archival newspapers.

Basia’s journey continues relentlessly. Zielona Góra has always served as her starting point, her Heimat and haven. It is here that the artist consistently builds her worlds, and it is from here that she embarks on further expeditions. As a seasoned traveller, she has a curiosity about the world and a recurring need for change. During her journey, she has already traversed lands of pink, streams of yarn, thickets of scribbles, vulgarities and diary entries, in addition to areas inhabited by bloodthirsty hybrids of various animal species. She has finally reached the point where she filters the complex reality around her into a few simple words or a few uncomplicated shapes. Such a landscape results from looking within herself, while contemplating the surrounding nature. If there is another stop on Basia’s path, she will be driven there by the pursuit of the unknown, the constant engine of her actions. 


Franciszek Smoręda