Dominika Ucar

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Within my painting I wanted to explore texture, surface and colour whilst exploring the feeling of being in a vast, expanded landscape. I have been investigating the juxtaposition of the epic outdoors with the elements of the cosy domestic through the use of stitching and soft material. This year I have revolved around this relationship between the two because I am interested in how despite the indoors and outdoors being seen as dichotomous, they share the same ability to evoke feelings of longing, nostalgia and memory. This simultaneous tension and harmony brings a romanticised quality to the experience of the landscape – the choice of materials as well as colours aim to bring a sense of warmth and familiarity to the work.

The exploration of surface and how I can remove painting from its traditions of a stretched canvas has also been a prominent part of my work. The incorporation of curtain-like features as well as an emphasis on stitching evoked the tradition of bringing the outdoors inside through domestic textiles. Some of the elements of stitching present in my work bring in a structural feature to the paintings which raises the concern for our desire to harness and arrange the landscape. Although this is the reality of our surroundings, especially in the UK, my work aims to highlight the positive and nostalgic relationship I personally have with the outdoors. The idea of comfort and warmth as well as the use of more organic and free-flowing brush marks is an important foundation to my work despite the structural elements I also weave into the experience.

I have also enjoyed playing with theatricality when displaying pieces. My time at Edinburgh has been rooted in making theatre so I wanted to bring that to my paintings. The historical relationship between visual art and theatre is echoed through the motif of the curtain alongside its association with the domestic. The Curtain has been used within set design to transform the stage into a space outside of the theatre, which ties in with my use of material to depict a landscape. This has been an important element to my work because of this deep-rooted history between visual art and theatre and how I have found myself part of both of those worlds.

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