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Ondre Nowakowski 

Background to Work


The river I’m standing in.



When asked “ what is that a picture of ?” I say, “It’s the river I’m standing in! 


It is in fact a picture of the river I’m standing in, developed from a photograph taken by me.

In some versions I’ve cropped off my feet so that in the picture only the abstract patterns of flowing water can be seen. The results have been processed in a such a way that they are no longer photographs, more a set of images.


As I’m taking the initial, original photograph, (one of very many) I’m thinking that these incredibly beautiful abstract shapes that I’m capturing will never be repeated and if I remain here doing this from now until the end of the universe they will all be equally beautiful and unique.


The words of  Heraclitus come to mind  -


 “No man ever steps in the same river twice …” 


The still camera gives us a glimpse of  a ‘once’, that Heraclitus inadvertently indicates.

These ponderings stretch our minds.


I am fascinated with the ways that everyday experiences, objects, and observations have the potential to become iconic and symbolic.


These days I use a camera, paint, drawing media and just about anything else to construct what I think of as ‘art propositions’. I collect impressions of things that rouse my curiosity. I look for the extraordinary in the ordinary and the unfamiliar in the familiar.


I use media to develop concrete equivalents of what are otherwise solely internal notions. The  process tends to raise questions:- What is it that makes the remarkable, remarkable? How do we escape the containment of our own subjectivity?  How do we sort the wheat from he chaff and the profound from the banal? What does it mean to be poetic?  


I believe that all art is essentially in one form or other a kind of poetry and that artists make poetic propositions. The practical results for me involve combining my own structured personal view of the world with a regime of absorbing, developing, testing and then ultimately sharing ideas with others by using creative media.


Over many years I have collected. archived and collated thousands of images. They represent moments of observation driven by curiosity. I refer to these images as ‘textures’.

Each of these textures are latent starting points for creative constructions which are made into graphic abstract and semi-abstract images and converted into stacked transparent slides many layers deep. Through work, time and consideration they are eventually resolved into artistic propositions.

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