Alicja Bielawska, “Through Half-closed Eyes” 2021, stainless steel, fabric (polyester), 290 x 420 x 370 cm.
In her practice, Alicja Bielawska explores relationships between material, the experiential and the intimate. She shapes space by dividing and limiting it, while simultaneously expanding and extending it. Bielawska’s installations, sculptures and objects want to be touched: shiny metal structures, glazed ceramic elements with uneven surfaces, textiles with attractive textures and interesting patterns.
Alicja Bielawska’s way of working and shaping space is reminiscent of the practice of modernist female architects like Lili Reich (1885-1947) who worked with architect Mies van der Rohe. In arranging spaces, Reich often used materials that divided the space, but nonetheless left it open, creating areas with a sense of intimacy which still remained accessible.
This is also the case with Bielawska’s installation Through Half-closed Eyes. It consists of a cylindrical structure formed of pink pleated fabric attached to a metal frame and suspended. One can enter into it, in which case it forms a kind of shield, a private and semi-isolated place. At the same time, the form still remains open, connecting with the space in which it is placed.