About

INTRODUCTION

Maria is a painter and graphic artist, with a portfolio that also includes pastels, drawings, traditional printmaking and installation. Her work showcases a clear faculty for both traditional and modern media.

She holds a Master’s Degree from the Painting, Graphics and Sculpture department at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan and has since also studied Exposition and Display at The National College of Arts in Poznan.

Maria established the Mayca Portrait Factory in 2007. Ever since, she has kept camera and sketchbook at hand, regularly drawing people on the London Underground or around the city’s public spaces. Her pencil sketches of London architecture are frequently published in the Nowy Czas (New Time) cultural magazine.

ARTISTIC PHILISOPHY

COLOUR AND FORM

Maria’s paintings and graphic art are characterised by a fascination with colour and form. When combined successfully, her work can serve both to explore and enhance the world around her.

Expressed in an abstract language, containing elements of improvisation and experimenting with various techniques, the artist’s messages may not always be easy to read. However, they never fail to be emotional, honest and thoughtful. Whatever the medium, whether it be a colourful spot on a canvas, a pencil line on paper or pixels on a computer screen, her works, such as drawings of London’s hidden attractions, are always powerful and impactful on a viewer’s perspective.

This flair for the abstract and a unique grasp of colour calls to mind the works of traditional Polish artists, such as Jacek Malczewski or Tadeusz Brzozowski, as well as those of the more modern, renowned artists, Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko.

IDENTITY AND TOGETHERNESS

Maria’s art is not limited to more classical topics, such as nature, life and death. It also investigates the changing nature of society and the novel challenges that now test human relationships.

Her works explore life in a multicultural space, striving to capture London’s lively nature as a hub for various cultures. The artist highlights the importance of coexistence in such a metropolis, that we are willing to break down any stereotypes, be tolerant and appreciate each other’s identity.

Equally, she examines the state of man in an increasingly virtual world. She explores the struggles of “The Digital Human” and whether technological advancements have really benefitted human interaction. Maria explores how the value of individual identity has changed and how difficult it can now be to appreciate one’s self.

She poses that getting to know and accepting our own identity is crucial to opening ourselves up to others. Only then, Maria believes, will we allow all cultures to coexist and genuine human interaction to take place. This is the focus of her “Identity and Coexistence” project, in which paintings and graphics are used to reflect such ideas.

It is crucial for Maria that she engages with such novel questions and forms in addition to more traditional pursuits.

AWARDS AND DISTINCTIONS

2019 The Award of the Head of the Department of Graphics and Drawing at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ostrava. The 6th International Triennial of Graphic Digital Arts – Gdynia 2019, Poland.
2019 Agnes Reeve Memorial Award for a Painting of London – Chelsea Art Society Open Exhibition, England
2017 Requiem won the 2nd place 2D category at EAST-WEST Art awards, London, England.
2017 Blackfriars Bridge nominated for the VAO Prize
2016 Circle of Life won the 2D category at EAST-WEST Art awards, London, England.
2015 Won the Roy Rasmussen Award at the FPS Open Exhibition, London, England.
2014 Nominated at IV International Biennial of Graphic Digital Arts in Gdynia, Poland.
2014 Won the Heatherley Prize for Drawing by The Heatherley School of Fine Art, Chelsea Art Society Open Exhibition, England 
2013 Won the Honorary Jury Award at the VII International Biennale of Painting and Unique Fabric in Gdynia, Poland.
2013 Won The Spirit of Holland Park Prize, London, England.
1989 Won the Scholarship of the Minister of Culture, Poland.

EDUCATION

2016 – 2017 Etching and Screen-printing courses at the Putney School of Art and Design
2005 – 2009 City and Islington College
2006 – 2007 Graphic Design at the WMC College in London, UK
1989 – Scholarship from the Polish Ministry of Culture
1983 – 1988 MA Fine Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland
1978 – 1983 Exposition and Display at The National College of Arts in Poznan

While Maria always possessed a natural affinity with the arts, her skill was greatly influenced by her time as a student at the Teatr Osmego Dnia (The Eighth Day Theatre), an alternative theatre group. In Warsaw, 1983, she performed in one of their spectacles, the Raport z Oblezonego Miasta (A Report from The Besieged City). Between 1983 and 1988, she continued to have links with various cultural activist groups, which would later come to be known as the Borderland Foundation, the Theatre Wegajty and the Frontier Music Foundation. This led her to partake in expeditions to the Southern and Eastern borderlands of Poland.

MEMBER OF

Chelsea Art Society – CAS, London
The Association of Polish Artists in Great Britain – APA, London
(serving as a committee member between 2009 and 2013)
The Free Painters and Sculptors – FPS, London
The Friends of Holland Park, London
East West Artlink – EWAAC, London
British Women Artists, London
The Association of Polish Artists in Poland – ZPAP, Warsaw
International Print Triennial Society, Krakow
International Association of Art IAA/AIAP, Paris
The Brent Artists Resource – BAR, London