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Following on from her exhibition in February 2023 at the Tea Amantes gallery, Katarzyna Nowak presents a fresh set of images for our delectation. David Simper went down to the gallery to view the paintings and speak to the artist.

Having been extremely impressed with the work exhibited in Katarzyna Novak’s earlier show, I was keen to see this new offering, which did not disappoint. The pre-exhibition write up described it as focusing on eliminating the negative and embracing the highs life has to offer. I would certainly vouch for this. The paintings are bright, colourful and optimistic. Size varies considerably with some very large, wall-dominating pieces, and smaller ones that would fit nicely into a domestic home.

The works with their bright hues and floral themes are described as suggesting another spring in the artist’s life, symbolising transformation and freshness. These paintings are very well executed technically with excellent composition, colour selection, brush work and blending. Each is very well thought through. I note the strong use of a sappy green, suggesting spring to me. The images are light, like May sunshine, the colours not being overly saturated. Versatle acrylic is a frequently used material.

Self-taught Katarzyna has over twenty years of experience in creating art using oil, acrylic, and mixed media. I asked her what the process had been to develop this set of work from the last exhibition’s starting point.

“Many things have changed in my life. I think in time I have become more aware of the style I want to create, the way I want to express myself. I have truly found myself in this colour palette.

“As to a theme, it’s definitely a mixture, but most of them are intuition paintings. This time I wasn’t focusing on realism, as I did last time. I would say one theme in one word is ‘awaking’.”

Thanks to Katarzyna for her comments on the process that has created this striking exhibition. I took one or two turns round the room to try and absorb the often complex images as best I could.

After a quiet start, the gallery quickly filled with people, all viewing the paintings with enthusiasm. It was quite tricky to get Katarzyna away from her adoring fans for my little interview and a photo in front of a sample of the work. Whatever is said, Blackpool is not short of interest in high-quality and locally-produced art such as this.

Tea Amante’s excellent catering as ever supported the event, including my favourite smoked salmon and cream cheese vol au vents, but also little mushroom delicacies in mini pastry cases. A wide variety of teas were also available to be sampled. I tried two, which were delicious.

So wanting to get this written up, I left a literally happy throng to hobble over the Corporation Street to catch the most convenient service 61 bus home.

This exhibition is well worth a view and is also an excuse to take refreshment at Tea Amantes. It’s on until 30th June 2024.

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    I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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