AboutAustralian artist Jacek Wankowski exhibits work in both Australia and the UK. His sculptures and paintings will be seen together for the first time in his first commercial London solo show, opening at the Coningsby Gallery on 28 October.
Wankowski is fascinated by the underwater world; the strange, fragile life forms that live there and the huge forces of tide and current that surge around them. He has studied them in depth via his studies in marine biology and his early professional life as a fisheries research scientist in Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Later, Wankowski trained at The National Art School in Sydney, graduating in 2006, and established his art practice in Australia. There he produces non-figurative steel sculptures inspired by the varied forms of small marine animals - such as molluscs, sea hares and worms - and abstract paintings that capture the violence and strength of the sea.
'Echoes of a Distant Tide' will offer a dynamic, personal perspective on the underwater world and a chance for gallery visitors to immerse themselves in it.
Wankowski's sculptures range from large scale, outdoor pieces to smaller, intimate works. They explore, in steel, how the complex forms of sea creatures reflect the tension generated by their interaction with environmental forces. As a result, each piece embodies the spirit of an industrial object even while describing the essentially soft structure of a living organism.
In his paintings, Wankowski's inspiration comes from the dynamic flow and clash of ocean currents and environmental forces and the resulting geographic features such as archipelagos, seaweed forests and deep water hydrothermals. Abstracting and distorting reality, the paintings are full of movement, elusive light and bold flashes of bright colour.
The paintings and sculptures work together to present complementary facets of the complex, and increasingly threatened, marine environment.