Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
Mary Olivier, “The Messenger”
Many people follow only one life path, but for self-taught artist Joanna Szachowska – Tarkowska, she has travelled down many roads, transporting her to various dimensions–utilizing multiple media–she is an illustrator, painter, ceramists, fiber and mixed-media artist. Joanna has followed a creative journey from paper to canvas; from wall-covering design to collaborations with architects; from designing public spaces to art directing creative magazines; from ceramic stoneware to clay sculptures, influenced at each turn by the work that came before. Always on a journey– experimenting with new fields, seeking different ways to express her story.
Joanna was born and began her work in Poland, where she created hundreds of illustrations and book covers for local and international magazines, publishers and paintings for private collectors. After relocating to the Joshua Tree area a few years ago, she became inspired by the magic of her new surroundings and added yet another medium to her creative palette–mixed media and fiber art.
All her endeavors have come together to form her unique creative vision and her down to earth aesthetic, characterized by her passion for textures, revealing layers by distressing, building organic forms inspired by natural objects such as stones, plant parts or drift wood. Rough and refined, primitive and spontaneous, ultimately paring things down to become one-of-a-kind artworks.
Her pieces have many textures, each layer building upon fragile clay elements, reminiscent of bones, cocoons and other earthy elements, to create whimsical collages or small sculptures that uniquely juxtapose disparate naked elements torn out from excessive decor. She exposes marginal, abandoned, unwanted elements that for her, become the essence of transformation. Joanna is driven by the feeling that each end is a new beginning–so she tracks the essence of the past to become part of a future mystery.