Discover more from Kaliko Journal
Two kinds of projects
...building a house and an art practice.
Kaliko Journal is a free newsletter about natural dyeing, textiles, art practice, and life by Ania Grzeszek. Feel free to share parts of this letter wherever and with whomever you’d like. If you want to support my work, subscribe to this publication and/or purchase my handmade products. Thank you.
I am working on two things this summer (and most probably this fall, too).
You know me as a person behind Kaliko—a handmade textile business, but the business actually slipped to the background this year. Why? A big pile of reasons, the one on the very top of the list being shifting my focus to other things.
I got obsessed with art around the time the pandemic started. I don’t remember why. All I remember is the world being so quiet and me finally having time to absorb ideas and to formulate my own. I always loved creativity but felt that art is not for me. It wasn’t my world, I never felt like I belonged. But in the quiet weeks of the first lockdown when no one was watching, dipping my toes in the world of art felt like a low-stakes hobby. And it got me. For good.
From this point on, simple creativity felt like not enough, and this realization loosely coincided with a burn-out. Soon after I started seeing a therapist, which led me to rebuild my own identity. I want to be an artist. Wait, do I really?
There are two notions here: making art as means of self-expression and becoming an artist (to prove oneself?). These two have been on my mind a lot lately. Why do I make art? How do I distinguish between things I want to do and things I feel like I should do? And how do I get my ego out of it?
Amid this chaos in my head, I am working on building something else. Our plot of land in the Polish countryside has now water and electricity access, next month we will build the road and the foundations. In October the construction works start.
I compare this project to my art ambitions, and they’re so different. There’s no expectation about the house, no need to prove anything. It’s just slowly crossing tiny tasks off of my to-do list and praying it’s soon done. I won’t be different when the house is there. I won’t be more worthy. I also don’t fear being judged for what it becomes. Yes, it’s mine, but I don’t necessarily identify with it. It is purely and solely for me—but it isn’t me. Can I do it with art, too? Should I?
I recently finished my main art project for this year. It’s called “Journal in Yellow” and I worked on it for the past 6 months. It turned out to be just what I hoped it would. I am keeping it for now. An empty wall in my living room was an excuse to finally let myself work bigger and more ambitious.
I want to show it at some point and I am working towards this goal, building a body of work I want to share with the world. I express my thoughts best at a distance—through visuals and text. It seems that the self-expression part is ticked. Now onto the ego part… Wish me luck on this journey of discovery, while I let my business stay in the backseat for a while longer.
If you’d like to support me in any way, share my work or order my products here. Thank you, I appreciate it more than you can imagine.