The Muse Gallery
Thursday, March 28, 2024
Sunday, April 21, 2024
269 Portobello Road, W11 1LR
The Muse Gallery

“In a world addicted to consumption and power, art celebrates emptiness and surrender. In a world accelerating to greater and greater speed, art reminds us of the timeless.”

– J.L. Adams, Winter Music.1


Annamarie Dzendrowskyj seeks to examine the indeterminate nature of ‘ways of seeing’ and ‘ways of being’. She explores the ambiguous ‘grey area’ between presence and absence by exploring fleeting moments of a world in constant flux. Moments in time she sees as suggesting a space, rather than defining a space, one that exists between what is seen and unseen, a zone of indiscernibility.

Indiscernible zones and spaces have been at the heart of Dzendrowskyj’s life experiences which act as a catalyst for her work. What is seen underwater is affected by interference – movement, light, weather conditions and in this sense, nothing appears clearly defined. This is reflected in her work which presents the emergence and dissolution of forms and settings, employing a process of creation and erasure, concealing, and revealing. Exploring the tension between figuration and abstraction, inviting the viewer to challenge their perception of time, place, and space. She allows for empirical perception, remembrance, and imagination to merge to evoke a kind of netherworld that conflates time, place vision, and memory, a ‘space between’.

A space between that offers a moment for unencumbered thinking in a world invaded by technology, social media, and hyper-reality. Dzendrowskyj sees this space, not in terms of a void, but as signifying a form of refuge from the stresses of 21 Century cyber-life. A space, to allow for an alternative option for creativity of the human mind and spirit offering room for contemplation and allowing the viewer to take a moment to breathe, engage with, and respond with their own opinions, experiences, and emotions.

The works presented by Dzendrowskyj in this exhibition were inspired by Junichiro Tanizaki’s ‘In Praise of Shadows’. This essay is an exploration of traditional Japanese aesthetics and culture, where beauty is found in the shadows of life, in the interplay between darkness and light, highlighting that one cannot exist without the other. Tanizaki offers ‘a gentle warning against the quest for airbrushed perfection and reminds us that too much light can pollute and obscure our natural world.’2 A message that bears critical relevance today with the concerning reality that faces the global community – climate change.

Dzendrowskyj positions the natural world as the central subject in the work, drawing upon imagery from the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area in Australia taken in 2020 a few months after the devastating 2019-2020 bushfire season. Presenting a view of the Australian landscape, highlighting both its beauty and its precarity due to climate change. Drawing attention to our responsibility to act now to preserve the fragility of our environment for future generations and our collective responsibility in shaping a sustainable future, towards sensitivity and empathy for the natural world.

  1. Waston,Gay. A Philosophy of Emptiness. Reaktion Books 2014, pg 122
  2. Tanizaki Junichiro, Translated by Harper, Thomas j & Seidensticker, Edward, G. In Praise of Shadows, Inside Front Cover