Artist Statement

I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and moved with my parents to Poland at the age of one. It was not until I became eighteen years old when I started to realize how strongly I was influenced by Art.

My city called Tricity consisted of the three smaller cities: Sopot, Gdansk an Gdynia, with thousand of years in history.

I was pacing the beautiful streets filled with an old and interesting architecture, inhaling the air in which I could sense something old, mysterious and romantic and which I was taking for granted. Almost on each corner of the street, one could spot a gallery filled with the most amazing amber jewellery or unique artworks of contemporary artists. I was surrounded by beauty every day. At the age of eighteen I was becoming aware of the weaving of beauty and art into my life. Beauty and art enriched my life to a deeper level.

After my graduation from the Secondary Grammar School, I entered two year College, where I was supposed to learn some practical things in life, such as typing, shorthand and office routines. Four months passed at the college and I gave up my desire of becoming ‘super-duper’ secretary capable of typing one hundred and fifty words per minute as I thought I could embark on more ambitious career and decided to investigate more on becoming an artist. My parents, both engineers, shook their heads expressing their concerns about the future of their offspring.

I didn’t give up my dreams of becoming an artist but instead I became an English Teacher at my home, giving lessons privately, and in my spare time I was learning how to draw and paint. I made two attempts, trying to enter Art College in Gdansk, but due to extreme competition and very few spots available at the institution I was unable to succeed.

Two years after my graduation I decided to leave Poland and do some travelling in order to learn what real life is about. I left Poland in September of 1986 and went to London, UK where I lived, worked and studied English for over three years.

I visited the National Gallery, The Tate Gallery on several occasions, and stood in front of Van Gogh’s Irises, looking intensely and feeling the presence of the greatest artist on earth. He once stood in front of these Irises, and although I was separated from Van Gogh by time and space, the whole experience felt mystical to me, Vincent’s energy was forever embedded in his art. I tried to go back and view his painting again, but to my disappointment it was sold to Japanese art collector.

In February of 1990 I immigrated to Canada, which I made my permanent home and became Canadian Citizen in August of 1994. I earned Bachelor of Fine Art with Media Arts & Digital Technology from Alberta College of Art & Design in 2003.

I think every artist has a number of famous artists whose works made a big impression on them. My early influences are Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin among others. I am also fascinated and saddened by the lives of artists, especially Van Gogh, who was such a passionate soul. The turbulent brilliance of his work conveys the urgent searching of his life. Art has been a major them in my life.

Marianna Maliszewska

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