The Gallery of Non-professional Art
The exhibition is dedicated to Upper Silesia’s non-professional art. No other field of art is associated so closely with the life and experience of an artist, describing their community, work, family relationships, drawing upon traditions and memories. The structure of this exhibition rests on a mining metaphor conceived as a combination of three symbolic areas essential to Silesian tradition. The mineshaft and the winding tower frame link the work-related underground section, the aboveground section associated with community life, and the sky, which stands for spirituality. These spheres reflect the traditional Silesian axiomatic triad of God, work and family.
The first part of the exhibition presents all that is directly or indirectly related to work and mining: mine architecture, mining passages and the efforts of miners working their shifts. Another element related to the difficult work underground is the cult of St. Barbara, the images of whom would often be used to adorn underground passages.
The second part of the exhibition is devoted to what goes on above the ground: home, family and garden, among other aspects of community life in mining settlements. The stories narrated by paintings here reveal a strong attachment to all things familiar to the painters. Aiming at the most beautiful rendition possible, the artists use a wide colour range to make sense of or even idealize what they have seen or memorized.
The final sequence of the exhibition alludes to the hoisting tower that crowns the body of the mine, a symbol of infinity that pierces the sky. Therefore, it covers artworks related to transcendence and going beyond oneself. Besides the traditional concept of religiosity, the artworks in this section also point to a quest for values that transcend human cognition.
The central narrative of the exhibition dedicated to non-professional art in Silesia is complemented by works by members of the Gwarek 58 group, miners of the former Katowice Coal Mine.
Curator: Sonia Wilk
- Muzeum Śląskie w Katowicach
ul. T. Dobrowolskiego 1
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- Type of exhibition: Permanent