The cloth we share

Rhonda Dredge

For many, the ultimate form of entertainment is a dinner party that brings together a group of art world personalities and bon vivants.

Guest of honour at a dinner on Friday night at Gallerysmith is an artist with a passion for the moment.

She will move from place to place, drawing on the tablecloth as the dinner proceeds.

Gosia Wlodarczak is a follower of Derrida, the French philosopher of the free form, and she’ll be a fun accompaniment to the main course.

The tablecloth she draws on will be part of a retrospective of tablecloths she has created over the past 10 years, not all of them at dinner parties.

“My husband is a diabetic,” Gosia told North West City News, and she’s worked on one over a month around his meals.

Gallerysmith is a serious gallery in Abbotsford St and Gosia is an international performance artist with an impressive record who, like many Europeans, sees life as a farce.

One of her most famous projects involved wrapping pieces of furniture in cloth and drawing over them with a pigment pen to simulate the settling of dust over time.

She called the project Dust Covers and it was exhibited at Western Washington University.

Her work has some similarities to that of Sol de Witt who sends out instructions so others can actually execute his ideas in distant places.

“I really want to do instructional drawings,” she said, but that is a challenge, given that she creates quite exhausting algorithms for her work.

In Personal Space Safety Zone she sat for hours in various positions to simulate various stages of engagement and recorded her impressions in pen on canvas.

All of her linework represents what she registers in the moment, not in terms of perspective but in outline.

“I’m not trying to represent spatially but the shapes my eyes see,” she said. “I try and draw quickly to show the situation. When you wake up and open your eyes you don’t know what you’re looking at. I think these are the real shapes.”

Gosia was trained as a conceptual artist in Poznan in Poland and moved to Australia when she was 35.

She’s a free spirit and an inspiration to plodders, in the way that Derrida livened up the structuralists with his poetic approach to the academic text.

This is her first exhibition since 2015 and represents a move away from her project work, which is ephemeral like life, towards pieces that can be collected.

Her Instagram posts are extensive, with 365 works created in one year, some set around a dinner plate, others around a fictional cat.

Prepare to be amused at The Cloth We Share, which is showing until August 20. •


Caption 1: Gosia Wlodarczak at her home in Richmond with Personal Space Safety Zone.

Caption 2: A tablecloth in the show.

The changing nature of our spring fair

The changing nature of our spring fair

November 15th, 2023 - Felicity Jack
Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle

November 15th, 2023 - Jacqui van Heerden
Like us on Facebook