Spider

  • object, 2022

The work refers to the traditionally female activity of making spatial ornaments from straw and other commonly available materials. Dating back perhaps as far as the 17th century, the custom of decorating cottage interiors with so-called “spiders” over time spread throughout Poland. It drew on magical rituals and cosmological concepts. According to folk beliefs, these objects heralded prosperity or good fortune, especially when hung on important days like holidays or weddings. They could also warn against making a bad decision. As a child, the artist learned from his grandmother how to prepare Christmas tree ornaments that resembled traditional handicrafts. Clearly inspired by the richness of forms and complexity of folk art structures, he recalls in his practice the experience of working together with his grandmother. Both the self-therapeutic nature of the creative process itself and its results are important. Community-created amateur handicrafts had great psychotherapeutic potential, in which the artist sees the hope of shared care. For this reason, Błęcki’s spiders are a recurring form used by him in workshops with local communities, among others. The object is a scaled copy of the ornament that the artist’s grandmother used to make.

The work was prepared as part of an artist res idency at the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko in 2022.