Maria Gabankova: All About the Residents and Dissidents

By June 30, 2016Blog

Home / Residents & Dissidents
by Maria Gabankova

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In case you didn’t make it to the artist talk, here’s a little more about Maria Gabankova and her exhibition Home / Residents & Dissidents!


Love is not a being – for – itself quality but a quality by which or in which you are for others.
– Soren Kierkegaard

Images of human faces and figures in this exhibition offer an inquiry in to the meaning of home. Each face and figure become a territory where I explore a life’s journey and what home means and what it means to loose it.

There are four small series in this selection of works:

In Dissidents the paintings portray real persons who at some point in their life became dissidents because of their theological and spiritual perspective.

a) Aleš Březina – studied theology, signatory of Charter 77, a human rights document in former Czechoslovakia in 1977; imprisoned as a conscientious objector; expelled into exile to Canada
b) Nadezhda Andreyevna Tolokonnikovova – studied philosophy; was a member of the Pussy Riot band, imprisoned in a labour camp for a performance of a punk prayer; continues to express her solidarity with the prisoners and the oppressed
c) Pavel Rejchrt – is a non conformist theologian, poet and writer, and a painter, lives in Prague
d) Svatopluk Karásek – a song writer – priest, signatory of Charter 77, was persecuted and exiled to Switzerland, now lives as a resident in Prague

In Residents the pencil sketches drawn from life and the paintings represent a visual report from a nursing home in Vancouver where I spent time visiting my mother during of most of 2014. Often the residents are not able to take care of themselves or to feed themselves and yet they have their dignity. In spite of not being able to communicate verbally they do so through their facial expressions and gestures.

We can only guess who these people are: artists, workers, poets, doctors, lawyers or just people abandoned, who don’t have anyone to care for them or even visit them.

Two encaustic paintings House without home I. & II. are interpretations of buildings / homes deserted and yet the presence of those who lived there remains.

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In Homeless the works Where is my home? and Birth of the soul contemplate a searching for home or consequences of loosing home. Similarly in Going home two pilgrims or homeless men walk away into the unknown towards a home beyond the earth.

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It is an old belief and it is a good belief, that our life is a pilgrim’s progress — that we are strangers on the earth, but that though this be so, yet we are not alone for our Father is with us. We are pilgrims, our life is a long walk or journey from earth to Heaven.

– Vincent van Gogh


Like what you see? Click here to see more by Maria Gabankova.

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