"My practice explores the nature of the human bond, mainly the bond I myself have with loved ones. Those I hold dear are my muses."
Fascinated by exploring themes around love and the human connection, Gabrijela Iva Polic’s works move between abstraction and figuration. After graduating from the University of New South Wales’ College of Fine Arts in 2013 with a Bachelor in Fine Arts and majors in drawing and painting, Polic has since been finding her place in the Sydney Art scene and creating enigmatic bodies of work that lure and entice.
Using the space within the picture plane she aims to depict fantastical natural scenes comprised of intricate detailing and patterning, resembling microcosms and ecological patterns. The characters in her pictures serve as metaphors for the immaterial and spiritual phenomenon of the human bond. Polic’s poetic references to the natural world come from a life long fascination with nature, but more interestingly her depictions of nature always convey the relationships between different elements or ‘characters’, where they grow from, feed off, protect and nurture each other.
In her first commercial solo-exhibition, Polic pushes the boundaries of her craft; combining the organisms we have seen in her previous work with equally intricate and mesmerising ‘machines.’ The two come together to form objects, suspended in the world of the painting, inanimate yet so full of life, this world she calls The Land of Wonderfuls.
In addition to the beautiful biological machinery, she displays her love of objects. ‘I’m a tad materialistic,’ she says of herself. Polic refers to them as necklaces, though in shape and form they are subtly reminiscent of the female reproductive system. The outcome is vivid and feminine, though calling it pretty would be derogatory. There is some unknown force behind the surface that lifts these works up, infuses them with something magical and finally separates them from the ornamental. It seems, behind the meticulous and measured brush work, lies dormant but close to the surface a raw energy that is just about ready to explode.
To give a true account of Polic’s work would require you to hover so closely over a painting that the canvas would dampen from your breath before you could manage to make total sense of the infinitesimal intricacies that make the whole so luminous.The Jovial Jewel that Breathed looks like just that, a necklace, consisting of “Jewels” in numerous shapes and colours, that has come to life, multi-coloured string dancing and weaving around, simultaneously defiant and adherent to the laws of physics. This is one of many mystical aspects of her work: the objects are suspended in the confines of her canvas, while nonetheless subject to a certain gravitational pull.
A few colours are easy to recognise, lovely light pinks and deep blues, greens and yellows. Others are more elusive – what looks like gold at first turns into silver at the tilt of your head. Then, on closer inspection, you notice that what you thought was gold or silver (at a certain angle even green) is actually a field of thousands of black dashes, creating a magnificent plane of minutely detailed line work.
Polic’s work is not easy to categorise, nor do descriptions or virtual images do her any justice. The magic of this body of work requires a face to face. As you spend time with the work, you are allowed a glimpse into Gabrijela Iva Polic’s Land of the Wonderfuls.
Philippa Griffin - The Hughes Gallery
In the land of wonderfuls - The Hughes Gallery
Who Sydney? - The Hughes Gallery
Summer exhibition - The Hughes Gallery
Peace of Art - Fenton & Fenton
Kogarah Art Prize
Art Scene Chroma Drawing Award - CoFA Annual
ACU - Annual Student Exhibition
2011 - 2013
College of Fine Arts (AKA UNSW Art & Design)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (majors in drawing & painting)
2010 - 2010
Australian Catholic University
Bachelor of Visual Arts