Monika Zarzeczna Artist Talk

Monika Zarzeczna is the current Artist in Residence at Inverness County Centre for the Arts. During her time here, she has created new, large-scale, outdoor sculpture; which can be seen in the grounds of ICCA. Come out to hear Monika speak about her work!

Monika Zarzeczna is fascinated by the reverence we assign to mundane objects: how we perceive value or create meaning by collecting, tying together, or arranging things. Her paper sculptures reflect impressions of her daily encounters with the discarded and devalued debris in her Brooklyn neighborhood. At first glance Zarzeczna’s sculptures convey a substantial heaviness, but upon further examination, the ethereal nature of the materials and the process used for their construction unfold. Her shapes resemble human appendages, fragments of broken toys, car parts, and other debris she sees around her. These forms contain an enigmatic quality; this ambiguity becomes a part of the sculpture’s identity.

Zarzeczna uses papier mâché as part of her process. The final layer is often painted rice paper, allowing her to carefully control the color and texture of the piece. This creates the impression of a residual stain or chipped paint, reminiscent of the surfaces of discarded objects. In some instances she decoupages wooden strips, adding another layer of ornamentation and dimension to the work. By elevating her large paper sculptures on furniture or stools, or by tying seemingly useless objects together, Zarzeczna indicates the value she gives the discarded. Each piece of paper, furniture or string has its own past, which when combined with her use of color, texture, and shape, bring a sense of poetic history and meaning to the work.

The artist’s work has been shown in the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States at venues including SculptureCenter in New York, David Castillo Gallery in Miami and the Spencer Brownstone Gallery in New York. She has attended the Skowhegan Residency and been a resident artist at the WCC Center for the Arts and the Chashama studio program. She is part of the 2UP artist collective issuing posters exhibited in New York at Printed Matter, MoMA Library, and Bowery Poetry Club, among other venues.