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Ania Dabrowska

Ania Dabrowska

Ania Dabrowska often situates her work through collaborative, investigative and socially engaged processes. She is interested in construction and reconfiguration of memory (personal and collective), cultural and temporal displacement, cross–cultural encounters, and in the impact that different times and beliefs might have on each other when re-configured in new works, in shifting nature of borders and photographic materiality and the social relationship with the medium. 

www.ania-dabrowska.co.uk

 

Open print collection in gallery view

It Really Was Beautiful (Woman, From Archives of Betty M, 1943)

£550.00

Edition 1 of 9

Edition 1 of 9

Medium:  Archival B&W fibre paper

Size: 12”x16”

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It Really Was Beautiful (Pocket Watch, From Archives of Betty M, 1932)

£550.00

Edition 1 of 9

Medium:  Archival B&W fibre paper

Size: 12”x16”

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It Really Was Beautiful (Fancy Dress, From Archives of Betty M, 1930)

£550.00

Edition 1 of 9

Medium:  Archival B&W fibre paper

Size: 12”x16”

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It Really Was Beautiful (Gloves, From Archives of Ivy P, 1943), 2011

£550.00

Edition 1 of 9

Medium:  Archival B&W fibre paper

Size: 12”x16”

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It Really Was Beautiful (Ballet Shoes, From Archives of Betty M, 1929), 2011

£550.00

Edition 1 of 9

Medium:  Archival B&W fibre paper

Size: 12”x16”

View your cart

Artist Statement

It Really Was Beautiful 
 
"I went into this glorious, beautiful, golden light, it was really breath taking. I’m not fearful of death at all. It really was beautiful. "

                                                                                                                              Mr Eric Stannard (1922 – 2010), Brain Donor 
 
It Really Was Beautiful is a photographic series that draws on archival photographs from family albums and conversations about favourite lifetime memories with some of the oldest UK brain donors (aged 85-100), which became the source material for my works. What these conversations revealed was that despite uniqueness of our individual life stories, the memories that are most treasured at the end of our lives universally connect us to love, friendship and other relationships with significant people or landmark events, even if the only thing we can recall are traces, be it an outline of her neck and jawline, a pocket watch he always wore, the way the satin gloves felt on my hands as our wedding photograph was taken... 
 
Scientists are still un-united on why some people retain perfect memory whilst others lose some or all ability to access it with old age. Our memories may disappear for good or resurface from the depths of the subconscious at random but they continue to play a vital role in the articulations of the conscious “I”, regardless of occupying a “positive” or “negative” space through their presence or absence. Our sense of identity is therefore linked to a force that is still mysterious: powerful but frequently fragile, uncertain, paradoxical. 
 
The consequent fragmentation, cropping and shading of the archival photographs emerged from drawing on neurological research into links between deterioration of grey matter and memory loss (in brain mapping colour grey is used to represent emotions) and on psychological theories about formation of self-defining memories, different models of memory storage and retrieval systems (phenomenon of telescoping, myth making, archiving, associative or logical retrievals, omissions). 
 
The series is part of Mind Over Matter art and science collaborative project about memory, forgetting, and the role that brain donation can play in finding cures for dementia by Ania Dabrowska and Prof Bronwyn Parry, King’s College London, (Wellcome Trust People Award. 2008-2011).