Embracing Space

As a slightly errant frequenter of my local church I came across this medley of shapes and structures in amongst the congregation with ceramic craters and what looked like overgrown fruit shells spewn over floor tombstones on one side and the gutted roots of a magnificent tree and a ceramic naked woman’s bosom on the other. Not something you come across every day in church.

real deal
the real deal




These artistic, symbolic, and emotional pieces are portrayed within the physical and cultural backdrop of St John’s church, a cultural centre which collaborates with the church space in its exhibitions and shows.

‚Embracing Space‘ (my translation of the Polish title to the exhibition ‚Wobec Przestrzeni‘) flusters our pre-conceived perception of what the interior of a church should look like, with all its historical, sacred and architectural baggage by suffusing us with the esthetic symbols of contemporary art form surrounding us as we meditate and make our devotions.




After wandering around following mass, taking photos and taking in this use of space, I got home and downloaded the photos onto my iphoto disc and my take on this exhibition ‚Embracing Space‘ started to take shape.

I put together a selection of past travel photos of mine which, to me, represent ’embracing space’ and posted them here together with the artists‘ offerings from St. John’s church.

My impressions of space:


Enjoying open space with my father- Leba, Poland


the loneliest picnic spot in the world as some guidebooks declare? – on the road to Luderitz, Namibia


one of my favourite hideaways – Sessriem, Namibia

Pia in Bagan

Bagan, Burma

And, another look at open space with sacred items at the centre of attention, on the Siauliai Hill of Crosses, Lithuania


and a close up look of the mishmash of crosses and crucifixes


and back to textiles at St John’s:


and a closer look


which brings to mind the store selling longyi material in Burma and the way they fold and store the material on the shelves in the background here:


This pillar of net curtains? greek pillar is the first site I came across on entering the church


and saw that a similar system seems to have been used for this work of Salvador Dali’s in the museum in Figueres, Spain:


more textile creations in St John’s:




For more pictures from the exhibition click below


1 Comment

Filed under Art, Gdansk, Poland

One response to “Embracing Space

  1. ania Regan Olsen

    I don’t know of many churches in France that would appreciate a ‘modern’ ceramic woman’s bosom even if the ‘old’ statues are full of them !!! An extremely interesting experience to see today’s works of art in the walls of St John’s. Not too keen on the laundry hanging in the prams (reminds me too much of what one goes through with three small kids ). My favorite is that row of what I call Egyptian like statues of women and the tree roots are like the one I took a snap of in Elba this summer.
    Pia your personal photos are very moving…. and Namibia just seems to call out to one…..something very haunting about it…. Thanks for sharing.

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