‘It is hard to separate activism from art. These two activities merge, permeating and affecting each other… I can’t shout. I thought that what I can do is talk about my community, show how we see ourselves. And the tool I use is art.’
The work of Romani artist, educator, and activist Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (b. 1978, Zakopane) addresses anti-Roma stereotypes and engages in building an affirmative iconography of Roma communities. Her work depicts everyday life: relationships, alliances and shared activities. Mirga-Tas’s vibrant textile collages are created from materials and fabrics collected from family and friends, which imbues them with a life of their own and a corresponding immediacy. Patchworks made of curtains, jewellery, shirts, and sheets, are sewn together to form so-called 'microcarriers' of history, just as resulting images revise macro perspectives.
Mirga-Tas’s portrayals take the perspective of 'minority feminism', which consciously advocates for women's strength while acknowledging the artist's cultural roots. Mirga-Tas was the official Polish representative at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022 – the first Roma artist to represent any country. Her vibrant works offer a rare opportunity to see the Roma on their own terms, both as a contemporary community and as a people with a rich heritage.
Małgorzata Mirga-Tas’s first UK exhibition will take place at Frith Street Gallery in September 2023.
I Have a Dream / Suno Mangie Dzialas, 2023
Göteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg
Re-enchanting the World: Homecoming, 2022
Castello Estense, Ferrara, Italy
Travelling Images, 2022International Cultural Centre, Kraków
documenta fifteen / OFF-Biennale, 2022
Re-enchanting the World, 2022Polish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
Herstories, 20213rd Autostrada Biennale, Prizren, Kosovo