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The world would be nothing
Gosia Machon, 2023

„For I was once already boy and girl,
Thicket and bird, and mute fish in the waves.“

Empedocles (460 b.C.), On Nature, fragment 117

In my paintings, I invent fictional places and beings - places of complete wilderness where humans are not present. I try to represent the non-human-beings — plant, animal, landscape — as equal counterparts. Personalities without human attributes.  They are here, as am I.  With sensations, needs, and fears. With a wisdom older than my thinking mind.
Without them – the world would be nothing.

Within me is a deep desire to say good-bye to the outdated image of human, so other living beings on this planet can be given more value.
Besides my humility and reverence towards their superior intelligence, their wild instinct and their absolute innocence, there is this great amazement — I am astonished by their otherness; the mysterious, ghostly, and sacred....
When I speak of nature or wilderness, I don't mean only nature "out there".
I also think of the nature within ourselves, in us human-beings.
This elemental, wild part of our identity — our body, our psyche, our destiny, which is found under the gauzy crust of our civilization, and which decisively determines all our lives.

I never represent concrete places or people, not the external reality...
I draw from unconscious, inner sources and images.
The area that cannot be photographed, and can hardly be described in words.
This swan, this tree, this flower - I have not seen them anywhere with my eyes, but the sensation they express, it exists, it is real.
Every time anew I find it almost unbelievable that this is possible: to represent something that is actually invisible – sensations, moods, emotions, conditions, confusions: The reality beneath the visual surfaces that continually influence our perception of the world.
Sometimes I have the impression that a painting is like a stage for the protagonists of our psyche. Everything we experience — physically, emotionally and mentally — can be a performer on this picture-stage. By this I don't just mean the figures - everything is equally important in the picture and can speak to us, even a plant, even an unknown entity. There is no hierarchy between the elements, there is no gender. In the painting we can find ourselves in every element.
It is an incessant play with our own abysmality. With abysmality I do not mean anything dark or somber. I mean the deep and strange stalactite caves within ourselves, the microcosm of our spirit, our psyche. There, everything is possible. There I can be anything: a breath of air, a donkey, a puddle. There I find the happiness, the joy and the sense of diving deeper and deeper into the unfathomable magnificent colorful lake of the unknown.
It is the processual acceptance of our reality, which is full of unknowing, contradictions, mysteries and oddities, that it is to be observed and admired, but in no case unraveled or understood.


Published as part of my solo-exhibition "the world would be nothing" at

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