Agata Leszczynska Nocturnal Tales

16 December - 30 January 2023

Nocturnal Tales is an acrylic painting series on canvas, explores themes of performance - through role-playing, identity, concealment and constructed boundaries - in our day-to-day psychology.

Following Alan Watts' idea that if the word 'person' comes from the Latin word 'persona', which is related to the Latin verb 'per-sonare', literally the process of 'sounding through,' then the theatrical masks worn by actors could represent a mechanism in which sound comes to life through a human instrument. The 'person' becomes the mask; the role you're playing in the world. The Nocturnal Tales series speaks to the element of conduct that permeates our lives. In essence, life is a play and you are an actor.

The paintings draw back the curtains that separate our public and private selves, toying with the vulnerabilities such as fragility, loneliness, disconnection, failure and isolation that we seek to hide through a construction of our public selves. The canvas becomes the arena where we witness spectacles of peculiar characters, in disguise, casting through riddled stories, in the bitter mimicry of reality. Nocturnal Tales therefore delves into what is real and what is fake, inquiring where the 'self' hides amongst all the overpowering noise of outside voices that unwittingly write the scripts for us.

Nocturnal Tales portrays a festive assemblage of man and beast, sensuality and austerity, laughter and terror, life and death, and gives us an opportunity to peer behind our facades, denude the veil of facets and take a closer look at what is lurking underneath.