There’s a lot happening over at Cross Street Arts, lots of exciting new changes and a brand new exhibition launching this August! ‘FARtHER’ is the first solo exhibition by Matylda Augustynek, and the first in Cross Street Arts new gallery located in The Standish Centre. We were lucky enough to chat with Matylda about the upcoming exhibition, her work, and her connection with Cross Street Arts.
We first met Matylda at our original ‘In Manchester’ exhibition at Saul Hay Gallery back in April 2021. Her sculpture piece was fascinating, it was stone and marble and also had a little light inside the stone, to really show off the beauty of the stone itself. It was unlike any other work we had seen or that was submitted, so it was a privilege to have it in the exhibition.
‘FARtHER is a story of femininity, motherhood, broken relationships and relationships that evolved,
presented in a series of intriguing artworks.’ We asked Matylda what people can expect from this exhibition:
Matylda Augustynek: ‘Farther is a retrospective from 20018 to 2022. I want this exhibition to be a journey through the recent years of my life, to which everyone can relate in different ways. It’s inspired by my experience and the geopolitical situation in the world. The work on show includes projections of film and stop motion animation, sculptures of the female womb and body and a series of oil self-portraits. Artworks will be combined with affordable posters, prints, small sculptures and commercial pieces like candle holders, plant pots and small rugs.’
Becoming a mother is obviously a huge change to anyone’s life, and this transition is featured in Matylda’s work. So we asked Maytlda if motherhood has changed her art at all?
MA: ‘Absolutely. My son was born during the last year of my studies at UAL. It wasn’t easy but I believe it was precisely what I needed at the time to move forward with my practice.’
‘My work evolved to incorporate my body to explore the experience of a woman, artist and mother in the 21st century. It was a moment when I started to explore different techniques to navigate the challenges of motherhood and creativity.’
Looking through the promotional images for the exhibition, I was particularly drawn to the image above. It show’s Maytlda with her son, and Matylda’s work on display also. But it was Matylda’s expression and hold of her baby son that struck a cord with me. I too am I new(ish) Mum, and I can completely relate with the expression on Matylda’s face. It’s a bit like ‘sh*t, now what’. You have just created the most beautiful and the most precious thing in the world, and you have to care for it, love it, and make sure this tiny human stays alive. The most precious thing ever is the most fragile thing ever, and you are solely responsible for it and you have to do everything in your power to make sure that thing stays safe. It’s daunting, and I can see that in this image.
‘The show includes projections of film and stop-motion, animation, sculptures of the body and series of oil self-portraits. It will also showcase the UK premiere of Matylda’s new short film ‘eMOTION’. So we asked Matylda about the variety of mediums she uses.
MA: ‘Once I started to explore different materials and techniques, I couldn’t stop. Each of them enables me to express myself differently. It’s like a drug, obsession even. To find the way, to depict it all.’
Cross Street Arts, where Matylda is based, has just moved out of their ground floor gallery and have been working for months on renovating their new gallery space which is upstairs at The Standish Centre. This exhibition is to be the first to be shown in the new space. Matylda created a timelaspe video of them renovating which you can view here – https://youtube.com/shorts/Ak2g3O8eZIY?feature=share
Cross Street Arts is a group of professional artists based in Standish, North Wigan. This was set up as a charitable organisation in 2004, and their aim is to provide, where possible, access to studio spaces and exhibition opportunities for professional artists.
Cross Street Arts members include studio-based professional contemporary artists and a growing number associate members. Matylda herself has just become an associate member too, so we asked her about that:
MA: ‘The amount of support I got from Cross Street Arts members is astonishing, from mental support during coffee breaks to practical ones like sharing open calls, promotion, networking. They opened the door for the North West art scene and provided the space to create and show my work.’
It’s great to have a connection with Cross Street Arts, as they help to promote local talent and give local artists (Matylda is from Wigan) a chance to have solo exhibitions! With such a variety of work on show, with messages that we can all relate to, plus lots of items for sale too, it’s definitely one to pop in your diaries!
‘FARtHER’ launches on Friday 5th August 7:00pm-9:00pm. The opening Reception will also include an Open Studios where you can see what the studio artists are up to. Plus, there will be food and drinks by donation on the night too.
Then you can view the exhibition on the following dates and times:
Saturday 6th August – 11:00am-4:00pm – Exhibition & Open Studios
Sunday 7th August – Noon-4:00pm – Exhibition
8th August – 3rd September – Exhibition by Appointment – book a ticket here.
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