Inside the Studio

Justyna Pennards-Sycz

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I’m inspired by nature, especially the indomitable, mysterious, and not fully discovered one. Nature is the sum of opposites such as: sequence and chaos, life and death, beauty and ugliness. Owing to that, it’s a perfect medium to talk about universal human truths, and characterize sensations of existing ideas and create new qualities. My paintings are full of analogies to the flora and fauna world, particularly with a marine background. For example, my series  “Tsunami” was created due to my fascination of a destructive power of the ocean: on the one hand it can’t be stopped by the death spectrum, on the other, it’s a binder which defines a framework for a new reality. The ocean, in turn, is an equivalent cycle in which I tried to subsume an idyllic mood of the sea.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
The best advice was just to go to my studio and work, not to wait for the perfect conditions, sunny weather and a good mood. Inspiration is highly overrated. Artistic work consists in trial and error, and learning by doing. You just have to get into a flow while working and the secrets of the painting will unfold suddenly, as if somebody is showing them to you.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I just can’t work in silence. Music emancipates me from all unnecessary emotions which I inevitably collect during the day. It is also a great motivator. When I feel overwhelmed I reach for French rock.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Peter Doig’s “Pelican (Stag).”

Who are your favorite writers?
Haruki Murakami and T. C. Boyle.