Etching the Trees – Kasia Fabijanska

Cathedral Ranges, graphite, charcoal & pastel on paper, 2018

Cathedral Ranges, graphite, charcoal & pastel on paper, 2018

‘Alpha Waves – The Rockies,’ etching & aquatint, 29x89cm

‘Alpha Waves – The Rockies,’ etching & aquatint, 29x89cm

Below-Aoraki_web

Gariwerd – not the end, detail of drawing

 

Gariwerd – not the end, detail of drawing

Kasia Fabijańska works predominantly in intaglio printmaking and drawing, focusing on the various things that relate humanity to nature whether they be political, personal or cultural.

Born in Poland (she also lived for a short time in Germany) before arriving in Australia in 1986 with her family, Fabijanska’s practice is layered, graceful, an undulating and haunting take on nature and our relationship to it.

Being close to nature (she’s now based in regional NSW), whether hiking or snowboarding, has been an integral part of Fabijanska’s creative work. She holds a B.A. in Fashion Design (RMIT, 2000) and a Master in Visual Art in Print media from Monash University.

Her evocative, layered aesthetic reminds us of the nostalgia of polaroid prints or even those turn of the century, sepia photographs of forest loggers. We are also reminded of Art Nouveau illustrators and even Jr Tolkein or Romantics such as Roussea, particularly his gravure prints from the mid 1800s. Mostly we love her take on scale, unexpected dimensions and askew subject placement. Like an old song sung in a new timbre, the history encrusted within many of these work feels recorded over, fresh and clear in beat and meaning. Clarity captured even within those blurry edges.

Fabijanska uses a combination of techniques including copper plate etching where she draws directly onto a prepared copper plate which is then taken through the acid-bath process. She then prints from the plate using a heavy printing press. She also works in photogravure, the emerging prints as if captured in night vision, feel elegant and ethereal, other worldly.

 

‘The Elders’ (Barmah Forest, Yorta Yorta lands)

‘The Elders’ (Barmah Forest, Yorta Yorta lands)

 

In the etching ‘The Elders’ (Barmah Forest, Yorta Yorta lands) featured in the current issue of Impress Journal, Fabijanska describes ‘..the old river gums among the younger forest emanate a kind of invisible aura of strength, memory and wisdom. Even the younger trees give the old ones a respectful distance creating a circular space around their elders’. Her reverence and intuitive wonder for trees is evident and we love the way her art making processes literally capture the essence and the truths to be found within nature (if you look hard enough).

Fabijanska also recently contributed works for the Superpowers Project in collaboration with writer Belinda Briggs. Produced by The Print Council of Australia and funded by Creative Victoria, it’s a writing and printmaking endeavour that commissions essays and art works in collaboration. In this project, writers and artists interrogate various forms of energy in the context of the global climate emergency.

 

How will you find the thing, the nature of which is unknown to you?, 2018-2021, etching, 29x154cm

How will you find the thing, the nature of which is unknown to you?, 2018-2021, etching, 29x154cm

 

Currently Fabijanska’s work, ‘How Will You Find the Thing, the Nature of Which is Unknown To You?’ has been shortlisted in the Geelong Acquisitive Print Award. The exhibition opened on 28 August at the Geelong Gallery.

Last year, Fabijańska was awarded the joint Baldessin Studio and Australian Galleries Fellowship and in 2015 she was the recipient of the Australian Print Workshop Dowd Foundation Scholarship.

Fabijanska has shown regularly in solo and group exhibitions, most recently: Untitled 2020 (Sydney, 2020), Dark Ink (solo – Melbourne, 2019), Editions 18 and 19 (2018, 2019, Melbourne), 2018 Swan Hill Print and Drawing Awards, the Burnie Print Prize (2017, Tasmania), Gippsland Print Award (2017, Sale, Victoria), Bajka (solo – 2017, Kyneton, Victoria), Between Here and There (2016, Melbourne).

Her work is held in private and public collections including the Gippsland Art Gallery and the Australian Print Workshop.

You can find more of her work here.
@kasiafabijanska

 

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WORDS 

Jennine Primmer