Part of Shore review by Martyna Wróblewska Zano

“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry painting that speaks” 

Simonides of Ceos

The “Shore” cycle is not a typical sketchbook in the way it usually is understood, however it’s not too far from it either. There is no more sight of color, light and space; such essential matters in Monika’s previous works. There is no texture multiplicity. The artist uses a black and white pastel only; charcoal – thanks to which she can obtain, as it seems – a rich spectrum. The poor use of form allows her to be brutally honest. The strongest feelings are written, the words are sure. The reaction is free of all sugar-coated filters. The image can be in the making for many days, weeks, months. The feelings of the artist are changing and with them the whole concept can be affected. The finished work is encoded – the spectator. /…/

The boat theme, as a symbolical figure, appears in the work of Monika Shaded already in 2008. The boat enables the path of the soul into the netherworld. A lonely journey held in an absolute silence. The line on the horizon is unclear. The human being knows its destination, but he does not see it, there is no shore, no haven. The river runs between the mountains, they absorb everything around them. They shut every way of escape. The space, although immense, paradoxically makes a claustrophobic impression. Man finds himself in the middle of two contradictory realities – heaven and earth. He owns his double citizenship, and so what? He got stuck with it somewhere in between.

Until now, the path of the artist’s creative work was filled with light and color. However, her newest work gives a sense of uneasiness and reconciliation with fate. It seems that man is incapable of doing anything to accelerate the journey, without a chance of having an impact on its direction, he has to give in to the current and trust all will be well. On the other hand, it is possible that he doesn’t want to reach the shore whatsoever, afraid of his own finiteness. The world around seems to be overwhelming, incomprehensible, mad. Then, the shore is a mystery, the unknown. The boat is a synonym of safety. In it, man flows through life, the life he holds on to so tightly, even if it often is filled with pain, sadness, sickness, fear or suffering.

Martyna Wróblewska Zano


The drawings were made using an oily pastels technique and charcoal on paper with dimensions of 42 x 29,7 cm. The drawing of the boat has a dimension of 100 x 450 cm and was also made with the same technique.

Photo: Ewa Boguszewska