Artists Paul Senyol and Andrzej Urbanski have an upcoming exhibition called ‘A Vacant Passage’ at Salon91 in Cape Town.
The past is often a source of inspiration within working practice amongst artists, but how about when two artists meet by chance and share a common heritage and history? Andrzej Urbanski(Pol/Ger) and Paul Senyol first met in Cape Town, during Urbanski’s three month residency early in 2012. There was an immediate connection between the two, and upon Urbanski’s return later in 2012 they began spending more time together exchanging ideas, thoughts and concepts. They quickly began to discover many similarities within their artistic practice and approaches, even though their execution differed greatly. A common visual language, yet different dialects. Up until that time each artist had been writing their own story, looking back, but also looking forward. Uncovering their past they found similar backgrounds, heritage, influences, and commonalities between their families. Both families having lived within a 200km radius of one other. Much of their lives changed at the beginning of the second world war when both families were forced to give up their homeland and way of life. Common roots yet a shared experience of displacement and loss. A vacant passage. For the exhibition the artists reference back to a time and place which no longer exists, both artists having experienced this space and place, and now coming together to seek out and make a story of a puzzle and a past which neither has any recollection of, besides a shoebox of photos, newspaper clippings, essays as well as stories handed down from generation to generation.
To the artists’ Germany is a vacant place, Poland is a vacant place, and some day, South Africa might become a vacant place. The story of two artists traveling and leaving behind remnants and legacies. The artists will each produce a body of new works related to their history and the common happenings of the years when both artists’ families experienced the difficulties and repercussions of the 2nd World War.
For the exhibition the artists will also collaborate on several artworks as well as a mural within the gallery.