Date: 1. - 30.3.2023
Natália Vargová, Veronika Soukupová, Kateřina „Zuleyka“ Zeidlerová, Lucie „Lusi Lu“ Remešová:
Collective Art Exhibition for EndoMarch 2023
(1. – 30. March 2023)
▪ March 8 from 19:00 - Vernissage, International Women's Day celebration, dancing performance and concert.
Dancing performance of Lenka Chuchutová (MAAT centre) and concert of jazz duo The Grey Zone.
▪ March 30 from 19:00 - Dernisage with artist talk and auction of selected paintings.
EndoMarch is a unique international project, thanks to which, during the month of March, as the month dedicated to endometriosis, information about this disease reaches the general and professional public. EndoTalks.cz is the first patient organization focusing on endometriosis in the Czech Republic. 1 in 10 women suffer from endometriosis, and on average, it is diagnosed after 7-10 years. A collective exhibition held in our gallery will also help to raise awareness about this serious disease. Four female artists each treated the topic of femininity and the female womb in their own unique way and not only in connection with endometriosis.
An online auction of selected artworks donated by the artists to support the organization will also take place on the EndoTalks.cz Facebook page throughout the month of March. The final auction announcement and presentation of the works will take place at the dernisage.
In her part of the exhibition, Veronika Soukupová mainly deals with the topic of what the decision to be childless can entail, what is its background and why it occurs. Kateřina 'Zuleyka' Zeidlerová, on the other hand, views her womb as a place of creativity from which new life comes into the world, and her paintings greatly influence her pregnancy and birth of her daughter. Lucie 'Lusi Lu' Remešová exhibits portraits of the "EndoGoddess" Gabriela Tuatti, a woman cured from endometriosis and a mother of two sons who helps other women healing from this disease. The last of the artists is the photographer Natálie Vargová, who presents her intimate self-portraits directly inspired by personal experiences with endometriosis.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Veronika is a young artist from České Budějovice. She graduated from the Secondary School of Arts and Crafts of St. Anežka Česká in Český Krumlov, field of Applied Painting. She followed up with a study of media illustration on Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art at the ZČU in Pilsen and is currently studying at the Miroslav Ondříček Film Academy in Písek, at the Visual Effects and Classic Animation studio. In addition to painting, he is also engaged in animation, drawing, writing and public reading of poetry. In her work, she very often deals with women's issues, she considers it important to face unpleasant facts and make certain non-conformist issues visible.
For this exhibition, Veronika focused in particular on the examination of a woman in the role of a possible future mother, from the point of view of an individual who has a problem with this role or wants to break out of it completely. With this issue is associated feeling of fear, disintegration, loss of one's own personality, body and, on the other hand, the existence of rebellion and contradiction. It is mainly a reflection of her own reality.
According to the artist, the emphasis is often placed on the woman as a mother and her celebration in this role. Which is not bad, but it is very important to point out the other side of the coin. Child is not a blessing for everyone. In particular, the author deals with what the decision to be childless can entail, what is its background and why it occurs. She works with this theme in a metaphorical form, where the woman is expressed in the form of a horse in most of the depicted cases. This form carries the important meaning of pride and its constant knocking down by internal and external realities. It is mostly presented in the form of a male body, which means shelter and a seemingly safe place. The depiction of a child-fetus carries the meaning of a potential threat, but also a certain fascination and desire.
Kateřina "Zuleyka" Zeidlerová
Kateřina has been involved in visual arts since early childhood. She was greatly influenced by her grandfather, a well-known sculptor, carver, but also a graphic artist and painter, Zdeněk Farský, from whom she inherited her artistic talents. For her, painting is a kind of meditation, an emptying of the mind, during which she just observes her thoughts, hand movements and what is happening on the canvas. She says about her creative process:
"I breathe and let intuition guide my hand and listen to stains, smudges, drips, colours, I add or take away here and there and then it all suddenly comes out by itself, and I rejoice. The goal of my creation is the observation of inception and disappearance. It is an opportunity for open communication with my unconscious. I would like people to be able, at least for a little while, to feel and perceive through my work the dance of all forms of life the way I feel and perceive it."
Kateřina chose for this exhibition her paintings on the theme of sacred femininity. She deals with the theme of childbirth as an initiation into the mystery of life and death, and the womb as a place of creativity from which new life comes into the world.
She began to create larger canvases on the theme of womanhood during the beginning and throughout her pregnancy, which for her was a perception of the growth of a new life and, in a sense, an altered state of consciousness. The image of the birth itself was created as a statement on canvas, where the colours and shapes speak, because the whole experience was so unexpectedly intense that it was impossible to describes in words. Another of the paintings on display, which she calls "Radiant Jóni", were painted as mandalas on silk with various intentions, and their colours were mixed with Damascus rose hydrolate to intensify their vibration and power. She put concentrated energy into each brushstroke with different intentions, e.g. for conception, harmonization of childbirth, good development of the baby, healing from a traumatic birth, etc. The message of her paintings is the rediscovery of female power.
Lucie "Lusi Lu" Remešová
Lucie is an artist and anthropologist living and creating in Prague and Čtyřkoly, who tells stories through her artworks. She tries to convey a message, open uncomfortable topics, reflect and analyse socio-cultural phenomena, break taboos and deviate from generally accepted cultural constructs. She focuses on stories related to body perception, sexuality and motherhood (including childlessness and the experience of losing a child). Her art features almost exclusively female characters who embody these stories.
In addition to the Czech Republic, she exhibited her works in Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Germany, etc. Her exhibitions and openings are sometimes also a certain kind of psychomagical acts with a broader message and an overlap into a spiritual-ritualistic experience. As an anthropologist, she currently teaches at Charles University and is completing her PhD with fieldwork in Peru. Anthropological education deeply influences her work, but in art she finds much greater freedom of expression.
In this exhibition, she follows up on the artworks she presented last year in her conceptual exhibition "Fertility", which was part of the accompanying program to EndoMarch2022. She showed nine women who were diagnosed with infertility not only because of endometriosis, but nevertheless conceived naturally and now have healthy children. Of all the women, she chose for this exhibition two portraits of naturopath Gabriela Tuatti, who has helped hundreds of women on their way to a healthy womb, and who also works closely with the EndoTalks.cz organization. Gabriela is depicted on the one hand as the "Endo-Goddess", in a symbolic yellow dress, oscillating between life and death, fertility and infertility with a pomegranate and a skull. In the second painting, she is with her two "miraculously conceived" sons, Zeno and Gabriel. The symbolism of the triangle and the number 3, which is associated with fertility and sexual energy, is important for both images. The third month is also March, as the month of endometriosis.
Natália studied photographic design at the Ladislav Bielik secondary art school in Levice. She then studied mass media and marketing communication at the Faculty of Mass Media Communication of the University of St. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava. For several years, she has been engaged in portrait, event and product photography, and since March 2022 she has been a member and photographer of the civic association Woman Up.
She has been living with endometriosis for several years, regularly suffering from crippling pain that prevents her from even getting out of bed and functioning normally. This fact forced Natália to think about her life, understand many connections and accept herself as she is. On this basis, a series of exhibited photographs entitled "Myself and my other Self" was created. This series of self-portraits depicts, on the one hand, the delicacy and femininity represented by the female body and flowers, and on the other, the scars representing the pain that is typical for women with this disease.
The portraits were first created as schoolwork, but the head of the studio, Mgr. Peter Lančarič, PhD., supported and inspired Natália to share the photos and their idea further. It was difficult for her at first to present her intimate suffering publicly, but in the end, she decided to contact the organization EndoTalks.cz with the aim of pointing out her own story and supporting other women that they are not alone in this struggle.
Myself and my other Self
A pain that won't go away. It is a part of life and must be accepted. Don't give up and fight. It makes us stronger and better.
Endometriosis is a disease that most often affects women of reproductive age. It is characterized by the presence of deposits of the endometrium outside the uterus, due to which it causes pain in the given places. The consequences are cysts, scars and infertility.
“It is incurable.” Phrases every doctor says and you don't want to hear. But what about the pain? Pills. This is the way it is and we have no choice but to accept it. Days when you can't sleep, can't think, can't get out of bed. The bed becomes your haven for a few days. And then what, in a few weeks? Same cycle again.
Is it possible to get out of it? I still believe so. Despite everything, it is a hidden part of my life. The one that makes me stop, slow down and gather strength for the next, better days.
My other self is not just mine. Many of us have it. Although we are all different, we are still the same. Soft and tender on the outside, full of pain on the inside. ♥