Silence of the Heart
Over the centuries it has been accepted that what is feminine is usually gentle, delicate and submissive, but somewhere deep inside lies power, darkness and mystery. Frustrated due to upbringing, religious be- liefs, place of birth, and duplication behaviours learned from home, they could not grow freely. Referring to the experiences of many women shaped by tradition, formed in the name of culture and authority, I show how easy it is to lose a bond with one’s own nature.
Without knowing yourself, you can easily succumb to an attitude of passivity and narrow-minded views set by religious dogmas and strong personalities. But in this numbness, under the layer of other people’s ideas flows the power and potential of previous generations. In the symbolism of birds I find the potential that has not been destroyed. Birds identified with wisdom, protection and danger in fairy tales and beliefs helped to make contact with the afterlife or heralded upcoming events. Different species were assigned to different meanings. Predatory eagles and falcons were compared with gods, warriors and shamans due to their strength, powerful claws and sharp beaks. They symbolised a free spirit or fearless leader. Owls cau- sed fear and dark references due to their noiseless flight and night activity. Their gaze penetrating dark- ness gave them the ability of the prophets and the power of all-seeing. Dark plumage and hoarse sounds of ravens, crows brought announcements of misfortune, mourning and seclusion. They also depicted omniscience and memory, which is why they were identified with witches.
In my project, I combine these associations with the images of women in my family. Works are an impor- tant element in search for my own identity. Cyanotype portraits, fabrics panels and sculpture by my dau- ghter Zuzanna Kryńska create an open space for contact with the self and family ties. The potential of previous generations and the strength that lies within it become a support – not a burden, a resource – not a lack. Just listen to the Silence of the Heart.