The exhibition “Past Garden” brings together the works of Belarusian artist Raman Kaminski (1988), which are the result of his personal experiences in recent months. Like many Belarusians, Raman experienced a double emigration after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February. He had already been living in Kyiv at the time, then moved to Georgia and then to France. This was compounded by a personal tragedy – the loss of his mother, whose funeral he was unable to attend due to the political situation in Belarus.
In his artistic practice, Raman Kaminski combines techniques and colour palettes from different styles and periods. His work is a constant experiment in different media (painting, graphics, sculpture, music, dance), while the central theme of his creations revolves around everyday life and its psychological dimension.
The works on display present a remarkable counterpoint between the subject matter and the way in which it is realised. This is true of the incredibly painful, lonely and tormented content of the works, which contrasts with the bright, saturated colour palette. It is precisely this counterpoint that creates a gap and acts as a portal to the artist’s painful experiences. The portal itself is amplified by the scale of the works, whose dominant monumentality serves as a metaphor for the power of internal traumatic and dramatic emotions, dwarfing both the artist and the viewer.
All of the works in this series were created during the artist’s residency in Fontevraud, France, where he was given a medieval church building with stone walls as his studio. The texture of these walls is reflected in the canvases. In creating his self-portraits, Raman literally immersed himself in the experience and dissection of traumatic pain, and in the final stages of painting he decorated the portraits with bright flowers.
To paraphrase the artist, this collection of works represents his exploration and attempt to escape his own pain. In the process, art has become a therapeutic ritual for him.