• image1 Every time we embrace, i go to that away place...
  • image2 Every time we embrace, i go to that away place...
  • image3 Every time we embrace, i go to that away place...
  • image5 Every time we embrace, i go to that away place...

The Inner Map 2013 / The Inner Space 2015

The artistic opus of the young Polish artist Ania Daria Merska consists of extensive cycles in the dominating oil on canvas technique with occasional use of granules, starting with her diploma work in 2010 titled 'Landscapes of the Inner Life', where she laid the foundations for her introverted, self-reflexive topics of her further production, but then with still directly identifiable motifs of natural habitats, especially forests and flower plantations. Yet in the next cycle from years 2011 and 2012 titled 'The Inner Sun', she turns to associatively abstract, seemingly cosmic motifs which actually symbolize the artist’s mental state, more precisely, the images of evolution of her psychological proto-matter into recognizable forms. The cycle's are followed by 'The Touch' in 2012 and 'The New Sun' in the same year, where the appearance of diptychs and specific mirror images can be observed. The artist develops them in 2013 as well, when she is presenting her work to the international cultural audience with cycles 'The New Fountain' (Albania) and 'The Inner Map' (Turkey). In autumn, she will exhibit with the same title, but complemented with new works, for the Polish audience.

Ania Daria Merska experiences the process of artistic creativity as a kind of intimate ritual performed when listening to mood music in a state of mild trance or psychedelic ecstasy which leads her through painting to inner purification, or if we find an analogy in antiquity, to Aristotelian catharsis at creative act.

The artist's detailed psycho-cosmic images, created with extreme technical dexterity and precision, the effect of illusion of depth and space being emphasized, can evoke diverse associations in observers, even before they are informed about the actual contents of the works representing a map of the interior of the soul. Thus the depictions can, for example, create an impression of imaginative interpretations of space after the Big Bang when the gases joined together into dense amorphous clouds, yet before solid matter was formed, since the endless lazures are so fluid that the Heraclitus’ saying pantha rei (everything flows, which especially holds true for the artist’s or common human psychological happening) suggests itself.

At the same time, the observer perceives continuous vibrations, on the one hand being reminiscences of the eternal question in quantum physics whether they are subatomic particles or microcosmic waves, while on the other hand, being reminiscent of the vibrations triggered by brain impulses. The image as a whole thus renders the impression of an explicit synesthetic co-effect of forms, colours, vibrations and sound illusions. In this connection, the aforementioned mirror images, as if they represented the two halves of the brain or the soul, or perhaps the Rorschach’s test that reveals deeply hidden psychological characteristics of the human being, have an especially mysterious effect.

In any case, another thing should be mentioned, i. e. a rather unusual iconographic association when apprehending the images by Ania Daria Merska, relating to the European medieval alchemical tradition. According to the alchemical principles, in the process of distillation and sublimation, out of the elementary massa confusa four philosophical primordial elements or quaternarii (earth/4, water/3, air/2, fire/1) were extracted by means of circular movement (circumambulantio). However, the ceaseless circulation does not take place only in the material world but also in the spiritual and psychological spheres as a shift from the conscious to the subconscious or from the ego to the non-ego. With further circulation, out of the primordial elements, the primary matter (prima materia) was formed. The circulation and the symbolism of the number of the four philosophic elements are the origin of the squaring the circle which is a symbol of the opus alchymicum or magnum, while the latter represents the stone of wisdom or lapis philosophicum but not in the form of gold but in the form of real wisdom equated with love. And exactly this is the crossroads with the artist’s idea of eternal, absolute love that she radiates through the entire artistic opus.         

Mario Berdič Codella, art critic,
July 2013, Maribor, Slovenia

The formal and symbolical metamorphosis of the recent introspective paintings of the young Polish artist Ania Daria Merska, obviously provoked by the newest radical changes in her life, may be considered as a consequence of even deeper connection to her inner space (gnothi seauton), since she turned the artistic subject-matter from the former macro-cosmical outer space to the micro-cosmical intimacy of the soul.

The very beginning of the artist's new creative phase, soon after her last exibition in Japan (May 2014), could already be observed during her last year's residency at the XVI. International Art Colony "Lija Lent" in Maribor, Slovenia (June 2014), where she finished two vertigo-shaped paintings named "The Inner Process". There, for the first time, she applied the string-shaped, organic "palps" within fluid, centripetal composition of an abstract spiral in the prevailed trichromatical basic shades (blue-red-yellow), resembling a cosmogonical pre-uterus, expecting perhaps to be fertilised by the Demiurg himself.
Her next creative stage appears to be the Inner Garden from the Kosovo Art Colony (September 2014) with even more elaborated "multidimensional micro-cosmical strings", after Brian Greene, and finally discontinued circular composition, replaced by the curved Planck's subatomic landscapes of the Calabi-Yau space-time dimensions, predicting the recent images of Ania Daria Merska called Sinergy. The eruptive network of multidimensional cosmical strings or "palps" is now more detailled, the palette includes a vast scale of shades and the composition sometimes takes the shape of the cross in order to emphasize the importance of the connection of all cosmical dimensions, forming the "unified cosmical body".

In her paintings, the perpetual changing in the physical world, as well as in the spiritual inner space seems to be of equal importance, according to Mahatma Ghandi's maxim: "Be the change, that you wish to see in the world". So changing, growing, developing, exploring, experimenting, experiencing, creating, loving, living is the art of Ania Daria Merska.      

Mario Berdič Codella, art critic,
April 2015, Maribor, Slovenia

2019  AD Merska