Blurring sometimes means focusing
Where do people find the inspiration to create? Where do they find the desire and determination to make time in their busy lives to draw, sculpt, or write something? I don’t know. What I do know is that one test of whether this desire is genuine, forcing its way to the surface from within, is motherhood. The daily routine of raising a small child – nursing, changing diapers, all things care-related – keeps one busy day and night. When at such a time the desire to create turns to frustration because there is no time left, we can speak of passion, of artistic drive despite all obstacles.
Pavla Dundálková graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague seven years ago. She attracted attention through her sculptural interest in space, in experiencing it first-hand, and in its exploration through drawings, objects, and installations, which she often brought to life through innovative performativity. She has exhibited at the National Gallery in Prague (the exhibition project Introducing…) and as part of numerous group exhibitions. In recent years, she has regularly shown her work at the private gallery stone projects, which also represents her. Over the past two years, her creative endeavors have been somewhat limited by motherhood, but she has not given up as an artist. In her recent works, she has explored the theme of Blurring. As she puts it, “I take an unfocused look at the future. I let my unfocused gaze glide over a twilit room while breastfeeding for the twentieth time in the evening. A moth flutters along the far wall, there’s a spider sitting in the corner. My body, having experienced the transformation of motherhood, has become blurred. With each extra pound, it has begun to go out of focus around the edges. The body, which previously attracted glances and invited appraisal, has begun to perform a different task.”
All artists need certain conditions for their work – a studio, materials, time, peace of mind – something that women artists on “maternity leave” usually do not get. In her current work, Pavla Dundálková focuses on smaller ceramic objects and small-format watercolors, whose beautiful range of colors and fragility remind us of Art Nouveau vases and jewelry. She notices the little things that surround her, shares her daily joys with us. She is genuine and persistent in her work. I recently saw a quote by the writer Bianca Bellová that can also be applied to the work of Pavla Dundálková: “For me, art is a demanding lover. She wants the artist to pursue and conquer her, to try to capture, in fleeting glimpses of her veil, lofty notions of Beauty, Truth, or Goodness – things that uplift, comfort, and are capable of moving us to tears or giving us goosebumps.”
Pavlína Morganová, 2023