Teresa Murak

About artist

Born
5.07.1949

Born in Kiełczewice, 1949; studied Art History at the Catholic University of Lublin and Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, where she was placed under the tutelage of Professor Jan Tarasin and received her diploma in 1976. Lectured at the Oslo Academy of Fine Arts (1988), Rhode Island School of Design, Providence College (US, 1991), Wrocław Academy of Fine Arts (1991), Łódź Museum of Art (1992), Warsaw School of Economics (1994) and the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsk (1995). A performance artist creating works of installation art, sculptures and drawings. She is considered one of the most important Polish female conceptual artists. Her art is filled with mysticism and the sacred nature of ancient rituals, which she combines with rituals rooted in the tradition of rural Catholicism. An important element of her works of installation and performance art is nature, which she chooses to represent in the form of growing plants, bread leaven, soil and hand-made paper. However, her plant of choice is the watercress, which she likes to display as both seedlings and full-size “carpets”. She also uses clover, mustard, ivy, rosemary, heliotrope and rue. She considers Demeter to be her patroness. Her art is based on rituals of fertility and the use of her own body (coat of watercress as displayed in her Procession from 1974) or the bodies of other women (watercress sprouts positioned in 13 places on a woman's body symbolizing her fertility cycles in operation as shown in her Woman’s Calendar from 1976). Her works of art also show items representing snapshots of everyday life, such as damaged cloths (Cloths of the Nuns of the Visitation, 1988) or dust swept from an old house, which she uses to create a sculpture (Contact Time, 1985). As part of her project Works of Art will Hatch in the Cracks of Reality - 2004, she sowed seeds of flax, sunflower, mallow, buckwheat, cornflower, poppy, watercress, and cereals in various regions of Warsaw calling her works of performance art Linen Stream, Sowing and Mallows Go Home. The last of that series was also performed in front of Galeria Bielska BWA.