Karolina Novak, untitled 2006
Much of my work explores memory and consciousness, the liminal space between reality and fantasy, the way we make sense of a complex world and the systems by which it functions. Central to this is a play on the nostalgia inherent in childhood or retro objects and family photographs. I am interested in the construction of memory as personal narrative, and am drawn to such objects as biographical and autobiographical devices that carry particular meanings in the construction of identity. The biography and autobiography are sketches, constructs of experience and imagination. Where lapses in consciousness like puzzle pieces lost in the vacuum cleaner leave holes in the picture of understanding, we fill in the gaps with a combination of conjecture and imaginings. I utilise a naïve, child-like perspective along with a faithfully representational style of rendering to reveal the secret lives of objects and investigate the ways in which we make meaning of and interpret the crazy things around us
I work predominantly in drypoint, a medium through which I am able to achieve a high degree of realism, in order to communicate a convincing truth. A faithful, though not always literal, representation can suggest or depict life, sometimes as present in something inanimate, and on an obviously static and two dimensional plane. In much of my work, the elements of the fabric of the universe are picked carefully apart, and observed thread by thread, extracted from their surroundings and examined as a hermetically sealed little pocket of existence. They are lifted from the intrusive and obtrusive clutter and distraction of the stuff of the universe to be addressed a little bite-sized parcel. Often things are understood more thoroughly when considered in a less literal fashion, objectively, when projected onto something remote from ourselves. I am interested in observers making their own connections between elements of the work, and between the work and themselves, constructing their own narrative around a series of gestures. My work seeks to expose our inherent and reflexive curiosity and instinct to piece single fragments of the world together into a coherent whole, into a reality that makes some kind of sense amid the miniature plastic odyssey of modern life.
Karolina Novak, 2006
Image © Karolina Novak and Match Box Projects