NDAGA

Ewa Tarsia

Ewa Tarsia, RCA is a Polish artist who became a Canadian citizen in 1995. The success of her artistic career in Canada was celebrated in June 2007 when she was officially inducted into the Royal Academy of Arts. Whereas she works in diverse media including painting, sculpture, tapestry, landscape design, and drawing, she is known internationally as a printmaker. She has shown in international print biennials in Spain, France, Poland, Austria, United States, England, Germany and Korea. As a printmaker, Tarsia is part of a traditional of artists who acknowledge that their plates -- the pieces of metal, plastic, wood and linoleum that they print from -- are the true objects of their affection. Covered with marks, lines and subtle traces of colour, printing plates are often as interesting as the images pulled from them. Each plate is visually complex, offering a fully active and engaged surface that, once transformed into sculpture, reveals both the artist's obsessive process and the beauty that motivates her to continue. As an environmentalist, Tarsia sees the irony of using plastic and paper to create images that celebrate the beauty of the natural world. "It reflects our society," she says of the work. "Plastic is everywhere." 

Formally trained in painting and sculpture at the School of Fine Arts in Poland, she began printmaking when she arrived in Winnipeg in 1991. For the past fourteen years, Tarsia has been working full time as a printmaker and painter. Her specific area of interest, monoprinting, involves the creation of a one-of-a kind image on a smooth surface such as Plexiglass that is eventually transferred onto paper. 

There is rawness and unbridled energy that comes, regardless of medium, from her complete preoccupation with process. On her printing plates the energy is manifested in intensely manipulated surfaces. She describes building them up, scratching into their surfaces and then applying layers of colour. "It is a sickness," she half-jokes, "an uncontrollable compulsion medicated only by the production of more art." (Kristen Pauch-Nolin)