Alicja Habisiak-Matczak  

“In Transit” – Woodcut


“When I heard about the great initiative of the exhibition “You are not alone” I immediately decided to participate and to dedicate the woodcuts I was working on to this show. In the period of lockdown, when the Strzemi?ski Academy of Fine Arts in ?ód? where I teach was closed and we all turned to online teaching, when every day we were following the scary news from Italy and step by step from other European countries and later also from both Americas, when my personal and professional plans ( solo show in New York, SGCI Conference in Puerto Rico) were cancelled and finally all the flights were cancelled too,

I decided to dedicate my works to the empty spaces of the international airports. In my archives I have hundreds of photos I took during my trips abroad. Travels are an important part of my private and professional life and they are a very important source of inspiration too. I like to observe and experience new spaces, new architecture, new cities. Their constant, dynamic motion, their diverse architecture, are what attracts me to big cities and also to the airports which are often autonomous cities themselves. From many photos I make charcoal sketches, which in turn become projects for my prints.

Woodcut is a technique I could work on at home, without the use of professional etching room I normally would use at the Academy for the intaglio techniques. This contemplative technique allowed me to focus on creative activity while staying at home with my family. It was a meditative process on one hand and a burst of energy on the other. I like the strong contrasts of black and white, light and shade. I enjoy dynamic cuts, different textures, rhythms of shapes resembling the rhythms of architecture we usually discover in motion.

I imagined how the airports, which are usually full of people and movement, suddenly became silent and empty. My works are a nostalgic tribute to the happy travelling time. The title in transit refers to the present situation literally and metaphorically. The photos I took were taken when I was in transit, running through the corridors of the airport, looking for the right gate to board my plane. Now we are all in transit to a new life, after global pandemy.

Alicja Habisiak-Matczak was born in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland in 1978. In the years 1997-2002 she studied at the Faculty of Graphics and Painting at the Strzemi?ski Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz. In 2003 she held a six-month practice at the Academy of Fine Arts in Urbino. Since 2004 employed at the Strzemi?ski Academy and since 2016 she has been the head of the Intaglio Techniques Studio. Since 2013, together with Giuliano Santini from KAUS Urbino, she is the initiator and coordinator of the International Summer Courses of Printmaking and Textile Art PATA held at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, whose seven editions have enjoyed great popularity among artists from all over the world. In 2009 obtained her PhD in fine arts, 2015, she obtained the degree of habilitated doctor. She conducts research in experimental intaglio techniques such as salt aquatint and etching on iron plates. She is the author of 24 individual exhibitions in Poland, Italy, the Netherlands Argentina and Canada. She has participated in more than 180 national and international exhibitions of graphic arts and drawing in such cities as: Acqui-Terme, Bangkok, Cluj, Douro, Cairo, Katowice, Kochi, Kyoto, Lodz, New York, Olsztyn, Rome, Sarcelles, Tokyo, Trois-Rivieres or Varna. She received 15 awards and honorable mentions in international competitions. Specializes in drawing and printmaking.

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