EXHIBITION for the 50th anniversary of creative work
I titled the exhibition „Towards the Light”, because light has many meanings.
For the 50th anniversary of my work I decided to show what is most important to me the painting of matter and through it, to send the message of beauty, joy and hope.
The „Towards the Light” installation is a reflection on the essence of death, a message of faith and victory. Therefore, I hope that after the ćsthetic experiences on the first floor of the gallery, the second may induce to thought and reflection.
I titled the exhibition „Towards the Light”, because light has many meanings. Light is life. Light is God. It also refers to the 1980s, when the light finally won. Light tears the darkness and brings hope. So it is an ambiguous term. Light is an aspiration towards deeper understanding, towards perfection. It is an expression of my hope which I want to share. It’s also a joy of life the light of colours. It’s memories of the moments that I experienced, of colours, words, all of the Nature. The atmosphere of specific places. My imagination makes it easy for me to go beyond clichés. A painting must emanate with something special, unique, inducing to thinking and contemplating.
Nature is for me the starting point. When one studies it humbly, it constantly rewards them with new inspirations. All of my paintings are records of various emotions, atmospheres and places.
My art is the record of my walk of life. My experiences and sensations in the 1980s found their expression in three cycles of individual exhibitions: 1982 the „W” (War) cycle; 1985 „The Light of the Sign of Cross”, dedicated to Father Jerzy Popiełuszko; 1987 „Light” dedicated to Pope John Paul II; and in the most important work for me, titled „Cross of Memory, Faith and Victory”
It was a huge, 7 metres tall crucifix made of 22 parts (21 parts symbol of the August Demands; 22nd part a crown of thorns). From black, dominating in the lower parts, through gradients of grey, the cross changed colours to white, shining with powerful light. At the bottom of the cross, in the form of a painting relief, was the image of fatigued and mutilated feet of Jesus. The portrayed transformation referred both to the Christ arisen and per analogy to the Polish August, which was the turning point in our modern history. On August 31st, 1984, during the „Artists for Shipbuilders” exhibition in the St Nicholas Church in Gdańsk, the cross was presented to the shipbuilders and the congregation of St Bridget, to remind of August 1980 and reinforce the belief in the victory of its ideals.
In Bydgoszcz, I will present a different cross. This is going to be the Cross of Memory and Victory. It will stand in the central part of the installation, arranged in two rooms of the second floor of the Gallery. The large hall dimmed, only with spotlights on pictures from 1980s hanging to the right, among them Madonna of December 13th, 1981 and the „Lux in tenebris” painting. In the middle of the hall a huge reservoir with water, with a cassock and several stones drowned inside. There are ropes hanging from the ceiling, over the reservoir. A circle of light illuminates the cassock. From the edge of the reservoir to the cross in the second, bright hall, there’s a beam of laser light. The crucifix is standing on a ladder. In its lower parts the fatigued feet of Jesus, presented in a painting relief. From black, through gradients of grey, we move to bright, victorious white. The ends of the cross’s arms – red.
It is important to me to provoke some reflection over those times through this exhibition, to pay tribute to Father Jerzy, the society, Solidarity. The overtone of that event death of Father Popiełuszko, although very dramatic, is not pessimistic. After all, it wanders towards hope. There’s white light behind the cross, in which a passage of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko’s homily can be seen. Too big is the tribute of blood, suffering, tears and misery laid at the feet of Christ for it not to return to God as a gift of true freedom, justice and love. For it not to result in Resurrection of our Homeland […]”. The bright area behind the cross is a mystery, just like a human death is a mystery./Jerzy Puciata/

Undoubtedly, Jerzy Puciata is one of the icons of artistic circles of Bydgoszcz. An artist born in Vilnius, sold of to Bydgoszcz. Incessantly engaged in all that
is most important for the culture of Bydgoszcz, but also of Poland. He has always been close to important things,
what in those distant, difficult times, covered in dullness, oblivion and severity of
everyday life was our treading forward. He was close to important things in the moments of hope and heads held high. Also, he didn’t avoid important situations when new things were born. Often in pain, dilemma, loss of friends. The story of Jurek’s life is recorded in his memory, it’s recorded in our memory; it’s recorded in the memory of the materialised image of art. The experiences of the years of old and those newer has shaped his art. Touching upon the actual conditions stimulated his hope. That hope, in turn, imposed on him the dimension of light as a space of intellectual dispute with the reality he met. Light became the way, obvious in another reality, the way of newly explored sense of one’s own value. Regardless of the ideological message of Jerzy, that sense of value began to become real in all the layers of everyday life. The growing beauty of realism started to obscure close-mindedness and non-existence. In Puciata’s art, one cannot see approval. There’s no defiance, either. What one can find is a metaphysical sense of existence and balance of gestures; also, humility towards immaterialised order.

/Wacław Kuczma/

Exhibition – 2008.10.25 – 2008.11.23

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