Yamamoto Keiko Rochaix is pleased to announce Drift, the gallery’s second solo exhibition with Magda Stawarska.

Magda Stawarska presents one of her most ambitious solo presentations to date, showcasing ten new works across various media. Split across the gallery’s upper and lower floors, taking the form of two distinct installations, Drift presents viewers with a spellbinding view of the visual rhythms that constitute the ebb and flow of various cityscapes. Through painting and photography; etching, silkscreen print and slide projection, Stawarska reveals how one fashions a personal relationship to place―layering histories of memory and movement, absence and restitution via patterns that wrap horizontally and vertically across the gallery walls.

About the exhibition

Drift builds upon Stawarska’s signature artistic approach―of self-exploring cities, allowing herself to get lost, only to return―a practice akin to that of flaneur. Often accompanied on these journeys with discreet recording equipment; the recordings are adapted, shared with select listeners, annotated, and re-exposed to the world in multi-layered form, revealing the contradictions within the geo-politics of a given urban sphere. What exists in the interstices? This process of revelation is what Stawarska calls the act of “inner listening”.

On the ground floor, Stawarska presents works that are largely inspired by the maritime hues, the abundant humidity, and air of a coastal city that evokes memories of an Andalucía. Here, dreams unfold as a horizontal line, in various shades of blue, green and lilac extends across the four walls of the gallery, punctuated by large paintings and small monochrome prints. A triptych, Found Boat, Lost Memory - New Iteration, 2024, hand painted over a silkscreen print, leans against the longest wall. Playing with scale and placement, Stawarska invites the viewer weave and observe from multiple sightlines as their eyes linger across long stretches of coloured paper to small, postcard-like images. Pause for breath, and look up, and one will find paper cascading from the ceiling to the floor―agile, robust, permanent.

Speaking of Stawarska’s work, the artist, author and curator, Dr. Omar Kholeif, Senior Curator and Director of Collections, Sharjah Art Foundation, recently noted, “Everything that I know about paper I learned from Magda. I have spent years trailing in her footsteps―in print rooms and dark rooms, and back into print rooms through to installing onto gallery walls. What I have learned is that the paper presents a kind of boundless possibility―it listens, feels, responds, unlike any other medium”.

An abandoned fishing boat, Some Boats Wait Forever 2024 sits in juxtaposition to the tiny photo-etchings of fishing baskets, which serve as both as vessels of confinement and protection.

This play with multiple cityscapes continues downstairs. The film, which visually takes place in Łódź and sonically in Bologna and Pisa, revolves around a paired conversation with the painting of torn tarpaulin in Venice. This scene interleaves with a slide projection of shop carts and stalls, wrapped in fabric on a city street in Sharjah, UAE. Deploying her aforementioned process of ‘inner listening’.

Stawarska invited local researcher and architect, Souraya Kreidieh, to examine a soundscape composition without detailed context, but for a series of prompts for annotations. These evocations are looped into slides forming a tapestry that tessellates and refracts as the clicking sound of the looping slide carousel, echo the call and response of two voices reading fragments of Gertrude Stein’s Ida, a restless traveller, who also enjoys the privilege of rest.

‘Drift' will run during the London Gallery Weekend (31 May - 2 June).

Opening hours during the LGW: 31 May and 1 June: 11pm - 6pm, 2 June: noon - 5pm

To coincide with the exhibition, a special book launch will be held to launch the monographic publication ‘Magda Stawarska’ authored by Omar Kholeif and published by Sternberg Press in association with artPost21. The event will be held at Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial St, London E1 6LS, on 2 June from 2pm to 4pm. For more information and to reserve your place, please visit: https://londongalleryweekend.a...

Magda Stawarska (b. Poland, lives and works in Preston)

Magda Stawarska’s multi-disciplinary practice combines moving image, sound, traditionally made silkscreen prints and paintings on paper. She examines how rhythms in sound affect our ability to decode the visual; how the process of what she describes as “inner listening” and intimate listening to a soundscape of place impacts the ability to understand one’s personal relationship to a city, and how the trauma of loss, passed from one generation to another, translates to the architecture within a city.

Stawarska was recently the subject of a two-person exhibition, 'Plaited Time / Deep Water' along with Lubaina Himid, curated by Dr. Omar Kholeif at Sharjah Art Foundation (2023) travelling to MUDAM, Luxembourg in 2024. Stawarska’s recent group presentations include, 'A Fine Toothed Comb', curated by Himid, HOME, Manchester; 'Rewinding Internationalism', Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and Villa Arson, Nice (2023); 'INVISIBLE NARRATIVES: New Conversations about Time and Place', Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, (2019), 4th International Biennale of Casablanca, Morocco (2018); 'Sounds Like Her' curated by Christine Eyene, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, York Art Gallery, York, and Gallery Oldham, Oldham (2017-2020).

In 2020 'Bracka 40' was purchased by the Arts Council Art Collection. The work was included in exhibitions 'Right About Now' and 'Found Cities, Lost Objects; Women in the City', the latter was exhibited at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Southampton City Art Gallery and Leeds Art Gallery, (2022 - 2024). Other public collections include: The British Library Sound & Vision collection, London, China Printmaking Museum, Shenzhen, Association of the Museums of Painting and Sculpture, Istanbul, Kraków International Print Triennial Collection, Kraków and TONSPUR Kunstverein, Vienna.