Marta’s World of Doodle Borders - a solo exhibition of Marta Nawojczyk

Event date: 11.03.2021 - 17:00 to 29.04.2021 - 15:45

Opens: Thursday, 11 March 2021, 5 p.m.
Open until: Wednesday, 28 April 2021

ArtBrut Gallery
& Studio for Socio-Cultural Inclusions
Wrocław, 46a Ruska Street

Exhibition Artistic Mentor: Iwona Ogrodzka

Guided tour of the exhibition: HERE


Marta Nawojczyk in a characteristic way fills drawing spaces with colourful ornaments which, depending on the chosen surface and material, take on more painterly or graphic forms. The exhibition will present a selection of pieces from different periods of Marta Nawojczyk's work as well as works prepared in the last year especially for her solo exhibition.
While working on the exhibition, the artist prepared a series of objects such as a pastry roller, jewellery boxes, cutting boards or a globe, referring to the arrangement of a living space. However, by covering them with characteristic patterns, Marta breaks the boundaries of the objects' functionality and gives them new meanings. The concept of the presentation, of which Marta is the author, acquires additional meaning in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. The perspective of a radical reorganisation of the spaces in which we are forced to live and work, becomes very tempting.
Marta Nawojczyk has been associated with the ArtBrut Gallery & Studio since its inception in 2009. She creates drawings, paintings, assemblages and three-dimensional objects. Her trademarks are colourful compositions composed of repeating sequences of geometric abstract patterns. These colourful pictograms fill both flat and spatial forms. Many of them are inspired by her large collection of colourful clothing belts.
The artist participated in numerous international and Polish collective exhibitions, the most important ones being:
Exhibition ON THE COMMON. WAVES EVERYWHERE 2 within the 15th Media Art Biennale WRO 2013 PIONEERING VALUES, ArtBrut Gallery & Studio, Wrocław 2013; Exhibition ANTIDOTUM within the 12th Survival Art Review ‘CITY – INFLAMATORY STATE’, Wrocław 2014; Exhibition BEYOND TABOO / PAR-DELŔ LES TABOUS / ART ET DÉCHIRURE FESTIVAL, Galerie MAM, Rouen, France 2016; Exhibition of artists associated with ArtBrut Gallery & Studio at the 5th BIENNALE OF URBAN ART – OUT OF STH – OCCUPATION. BWA, Wrocław 2017; Exhibition of artists associated with ArtBrut Gallery & Studio at Retroperspektywy Festival; Art Incubator – Fabryka Sztuki, Lodz 2018; BEYOND TABOO VI. COMMUNITY. Exhibition of artists of the ArtBrut Gallery & Studio and the invited guests, Wrocław 2019; SHOO! – THE EXHIBITION OF THE EPIDEMIC TIME / A collective exhibition of artists associated with ArtBrut Gallery & Studio, Wrocław 2020; BEYOND TABOO VII. ANXIETY AND FEAR / A collective exhibition of artists associated with ArtBrut Gallery & Studio, Wrocław 2020. Marta Nawojczyk's works were also included in the book I DON’T FIT IN MY SKIN, published by the ArtBrut Gallery & Studio in cooperation with the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016.
The current event is the artist's first solo exhibition.


Iwona Ogrodzka

Marta’s World of Doodle Borders

Ornaments, patterns, or, as the author prefers to call them, doodle borders, fill the surfaces of various found objects, stretches of interlining and sheets of paper hanging from the ceilings. The motives, composed of small elements, occupy specific fields or take the form of stripes and no matter how dense they are, they seem to be an integral part of the object. It is as if Nawojczyk magically (and we will later return to the magic in this text) was breaking the boundaries of functionality of things, giving them a new meaning.

It took me long to find the words which would best describe Marta's works. The word ornament, which we associate with architecture or elaborate decorations of wooden frames, does not reflect the unusual nature of her work. Sometimes the more painterly fragments resemble landscapes, at other times they are closer to pictograms and the process of building a mysterious language of signs. Nawojczyk sticks to the term 'doodle border' and it seems to me that the adjectival form of the word best describes the works we see at the exhibition.

The natural human process of creating patterns fulfils the need to mark our presence. One can reduce an ornament or a doodle border to insignificant or even superfluous decoration, but are we able to imagine a world that is completely devoid of such decoration? Patterns help to tame chaos (rhythmically placed lines order the uneven structure of an object) or to create it when we are too bored.

While trying to solve the mystery of what her artistic work means to Marta, I found one of the most interesting interpretations of the function of decorations and ornaments in our lives. In the beliefs of many peoples nothing was as unfriendly to demons as confusion. Braids, swirls, countless dots and lines, just like labyrinths, were considered the best protection against evil forces. The sight of evil lurking from everywhere was blotted out by the tangle of lines and spots. A cruel witch escaped from a house with something as crazy as a dough roller painted with patterns, a demon avoided as fire such incomprehensible, abstract drawings. Looking at Marta's works, it is hard not to get the impression that the artist also creates something like magic talismans and magical objects. Following this line of thinking, we can feel safe in the gallery space. Such a concentration of the artist's works will protect us from any evil forces.

Working on each subsequent exhibition at the ArtBrut Gallery & Studio is not only about building the exposition and writing the text you are reading now. The most important, but also invisible element of this process is getting to know the people who work on it together. Marta is a fairy godmother who addresses with tenderness the people she befriends and works with, a fan of TV series and a person of great musical sensitivity. This last feature is also reflected in Marta's drawings. Some of them resemble musical notations, others have the features of a good piece of music: rhythm, diversity of colours, harmony and dynamics.


We look forward to seeing you!


Marta Nawojczyk, Untitled, work based on drawings by Marta Nawojczyk made in 2009–2020: HERE


The exhibition has been organised within a public task entitled: RUNNING ARTBRUT GALLERY AND STUDIO FOR SOCIO-CULTURAL INCLUSION FOR PERSONS WITH INTELLECTIAL DISABILITIES AND MENTAL DISORDERS IN THE YEARS 2019–2021 financed by the Municipality of Wroclaw.

Promotional materials

Marta’s World of Doodle Borders - a solo exhibition of Marta Nawojczyk