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YouTube Series

A series of video conversations with creatives to uncover the hidden story behind their work. Each installment is a deep dive into an individual story. We explore the push and pull between creativity and process. Ultimately, sharing individual struggles and clever strategies that sustain successful creative careers.

NEWS: I’m very excited to annouce this is now an RMITV Approved Production, with a further six episodes on the way... stay tuned!

October 2018

Toot Artspace
Shop 5, 17-19 Irwell Street, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

This series of paintings and a video explores the self authorship and narcissistic nature of online identity. Digital existence is slowed down, solidified and repeated. Paired with hashtags that investigate the notion of performance and curation with a playful slippage of language that exposes the nature of online interactions.

Toot Artspace
Shop 5, 17-19 Irwell Street, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

“A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life” - Virginia Woolf.

AUTOBIOGRAPHY: An exhibition exploring female self-representation in art is a show of five female artists who work with diverse media (painting, photography, drawing, video) and bravely and honestly explore their own lives through their art. The literary theme of autobiography is interpreted and directed at the hands of each of these five women artists with social, political or poetic results. Each explore various branches of autobiography in art; whether it be a direct or emotionally fuelled depiction of real life, political exploration, social commentary, or a disappearing act into someone else’s autobiography; each deliver versions of their own truths through contemporary visual art.

Artists: Alicja Kuzmycz, Elizaveta Maltseva, Jade Walsh, Kellie Wells and Paula Mahoney

A collection of garments that celebrates women of the Bauhaus, who were overshadowed by their male counterparts in pages of history. Reclaiming Bauhaus fuses together modernist graphic shapes with practical forms and artistry – Weaving art into a sustainable future that history won’t forget.

A collection for Spring 2018 season that combines binary opposites - modernity with the handmade and practical with art and whimsy. A future that promises a weary world that we can make it right this time.

2009 - 2015

The femme fatale character creates the opportunity to explore ideas around strong women and cultural sterotyping using dark humour by tapping into a long historical storytelling legacy. These paintings are also layered with a subverted/moderninsed traditional Polish paper cut (Wycinanki) and cotton crochet doilies.

Stephen McLaughlan Gallery
Level 8 Room 16 The Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston St Melbourne
“The pleat is a doubling up, a layering of material - somewhat like our identities which are a construct of many characteristics, experiences and expressions folded over one another.

The inner folds, pleat of mind, hide the darker or flip side of femininity - few women would openly identify with them - she’s prickly, the bad girl, the bitch, the femme fatale.” A.Kuzmycz

Artists: Mary Gray & Alicja Kuzmycz

A series of webcam images taken over a five year period which were cut together into a stop animation video and looped. Creating both a narcissistic and somewhat comical performance that reflects how arbitrary identity can be. Displayed on a small scale screen in the gallery space, drawing the viewer in for an intimate yet public exchange.

“Individuals engaged in social media must grapple with self authorship of their identity. Who am I, what do I like, who are my friends and what am I thinking. Social media is changing the way we express and develop our ego and identity. What are the narratives of our life, what is worth recording and what should be left out? If an individual gets negative feedback about themselves, they can simply re-write their story, re-write themselves.”

FaceMe is a series of offline facebook profiles, each a different expression of the same person, none of them particularily true or untrue.

A manifestation of the binary representations of women, good or bad - seductive or homely, an embroidered and beaded pillow which is suspended from the ceiling. The floating pillow implies the bed – a private and intimate space – homely and restful or seductive.

A larger than life painted shadow of a ‘paper cut’ style female figure. Solidifying a representation of the darker side of feminine identity – totally overshadowing the light.

The shadow can be seen as representing the dark side of an individual “…[in] literary tradition[s], the shadow becomes a disconcerting guest, and image of evil…”1 this idea is further supported by Johnson, a Jungian theorist, on the developing psyche: “We are born whole… but somewhere early on our way… things separate into good and evil, and we begin the shadow making process; we divide our lives. In the cultural process we sort out our characteristics into those that are acceptable [and those that are not].” With the socially unacceptable behaviours becoming the shadow that faithfully lurks behind us.

1. Robert Casati , Shadow Tales of Knowledge and Power, Shadow Play pp 44
2. Robert A. Johnson, Owing Your Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche, pp4

Wycinanki, is a Polish folk art tradition of hand cut paper with decorative scenes and patterns – flowers, birds, patterns or people in rural scenes. Traditionally cut in a circular form, averaging around 30cm in diameter, they were used to decorate homes.

I’ll Give You A Paper Cut subverts those traditional forms, replacing what would have been a sweet rural scene, with the femme fatale in an interior space.

Dorothy... innocent young woman or femme fatale?

A Dothothy-esque series of works about love in the digital world - photographic works digitally printed on satin fabric.

Inherently theatrical and filmic in style, each canvas is like a film still or key frame - a pause in time. However unlike film, the painting is never going to pan across the scene, so the viewer is left to build the story around the fragments they are presented with. 

The femme fatale character creates the opportunity to explore ideas around strong women and culture with dark humour. Presented in a cinematic film noir and still frame style, the viewer is compelled by the limited information to piece together the story themselves.

Reminiscent of film stills - a pause in time - a mere fragment of a story which begs to be pieced together by the viewer.

A series of photographic works exploring female identity and the fashion magazine.

“ ... the manufacturedness, the signifying process must be repressed so that the image seems a spontaneous and credible... Both word and image must address in this field for it offers fictive fields for fantasy located in credible spaces, likely scenarios, and fantastic possibilities. It addresses the demand for the legible and visible while servicing the less prosaic signifying systems of the unconcious ith its multilple displacements, substitutions, and playfulness.” The Critical Image: Essays on Contemporary Photography, Missing Women - Giselda Pollock

A narrative series, where the viewer is given key frames that allude to a noir storyline, one that they must make sense of themselves.

“... a narrative might be said to possess ‘space’ in the movement from beginning to end, and that narratives enact in this movement a relation to ‘time’” Narrative: the New Critical Idiom - Paul Cobley

The Dance Series of paintings are more like film stills, they represent a voyeristic and blured moment – a small fragment of a larger narrative – a story that can never really be known, only guessed at.

I acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional custodians of the unceded lands that my studio is situated, and pay respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging.

© Alicja Kuzmycz 2021

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