Just A Bad Dream

Exhibition by London Group Open Prize winner Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson opens at Felix & Spear on 27 Jan

Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson’s “Just A Bad Dream” opens at Felix & Spear on 27 Jan. Tomaszewska-Nelson is the winner of Felix & Spear Exhibition Prize, held at The London Group Open 2023

Just A Bad Dream
27 Jan – 18 Feb 2024
Felix & Spear, 71 St Mary’s Rd, Ealing, London W5 5RG
Wed – Fri 11.00-18.00 Sat – Sun 12.00-15.00

‘The Last Meadow’ 2019, oil on linen, 145 x 190 cm by Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson

Landscape painting is an old tradition. Painting landscapes in crisis is relatively new. The Anthropocene generates new directions for environmental science, language and art. Extinction and the biological processes leading to it have sparked a new cultural understanding of ‘endangered’, exposing the fragility of life and putting climate in the centre of new discourse, as “milieu that is necessary for our ongoing life, and as the fragile surface that holds us all together in one web of risked life”, – argues Claire Colebrook. This new, remorseful way of being in the landscape, comes with a new set of emotions specific to all life being endangered.

Spirituality has always been associated with landscape paintings in the Far East, as well as in Europe since Romanticism. Across ‘Just A Bad Dream’, I try to evoke a new environmental spirituality and emotions of the post humanist artist. Admittedly, I am myself as much a subject of decomposition as the landscapes I create. Finding the most painterly language to communicate the disintegration of the meadow or the thinness of a dreamed flame, I oversaturate the paints and use neon colours to ‘scream’ my cause. I take my freedom to abandon the rules of gravity, the seasons and weather, demoralised and mimicking the climate in crisis. In search for a new formula, I developed a linear form which runs through my paintings like a noise or radiation. The continuum of a line stretches the composition and brings an element of time.

In a pseudo-scientific anthropological research, I observe human presence in landscape. My photographic series ‘Stays’ 2021, records the human sculptural interaction with the land, reminiscent of the artists or the settlers of the past and present times. Imminently the questions of the ownership of the land arise, making the landscape a political issue.

‘Every Fibre’ is the first piece of video art shown by Felix & Spear. It recalls the presence of people in their archetypal house. Elsewhere, in another time. The sense of longing is a reverie, a migrant’s dream.

Ania Tomaszewska-Nelson, 2024