Coincidence by definition means the simultaneous occurrence of several phenomena or events. And this is how I understand what happened in 2015 and 2016 within an artistic project that I had the pleasure to initiate and co-create with several painters. Coincidence is often referred to as a conjuncture or an accident, but within a deliberate creative process, therefore also in painting, the accidents are, or at least should be, out of question.

Where did „Project Coincidence” come from? The impulse for its initiation was „Pictus” – sculpture made by Mariusz Dydo and painted by me on the occasion of our joint exhibition in Miasto Sztuki gallery in Cracow. The possibility to work in partnership with another author occurred to be a very inspiring prospect, and at the same time referred dangerously to Van Gogh, Gauguin, and the idea of The Yellow House.

Soon, the concept of a broader painting cooperation took shape. The aftermath of plein air in Ostrów Wielkopolski were canvases painted together with the British abstractionist Ashley Collin. It was a spontaneous, but also difficult process. The clash of clear aesthetic visions and verbal communication deficiencies forced us to communicate mainly by means of painting. During the work we tried to specify our words and ideas „in statu nascendi” by using a brush. We were delighted. We saw a different world. Unfortunately, for various reasons, this chapter was quickly closed, and yet the appetite grows with eating.

Angelika Galus came to the rescue and faced the creative problem with care. Unlike before, the implementation of ideas is proceeding with no rush, progressively, recalling the special kind of visual messages exchange, in which each succeeding stage of the canvas creation depends solely on one of us. Part of this correspondence has been concluded. Some of it still remains to be written.

In the meantime, the idea of interference in the compositions that their primary author considers to be completed was born. The experiment was supposed to prove if the last word included by someone from the outside can completely change the meaning of paintings. Such confidence was bestowed on me by Kamila Iwańska. In this way, the series of portraits turned into a series of abstractions.

This is what we were able to accomplish within twelve months. The result of the conceptual and compositional relationship that occurred between us is a synergy leading to the synthesis of different personalities, sensitivities and methods of creative working; its tangible evidence are the canvas that we are hereby pleased to present publicly for the first time. They are a record of struggle that we consider extraordinary, at times closed to madness, atoned with all sorts of, not only positive, emotions, but most importantly teaching respect, humility and giving a lot of satisfaction. Being aware of the fact that we are neither the first nor the only ones who went this way, we present the image of an intimate part of ourselves – painters who are irreversibly marked by what has happened between them.

P.S. „Project Coincidence” is still an open book. New threads are constantly appearing and new characters are entering the storyline… I hope that soon we will be able to present to you next chapters of the story.

Emilia Gąsienica-Setlak

„Project Coincidence” founder

and curator of  the first project exhibition

Participants of the project:

Zsuzsa Sedah Máthé – born in 1964 r. in Budapest. Graduate of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. She studied also at the Budapest art schools, including The Hungarian University of Fine Arts. Engaged in painting, poetry and culture animation.

Agnieszka Gzyl – born in 1972 in Warsaw. Graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts of Władysław Strzemiński in Łódź, Faculty of Design and Architecture. The architect and designer of interiors, public areas, shop windows and daily use objects. Painter who uses an experimental technique and materials – combination of digital graphics and construction silicone. During interdisciplinary Ph.D. process at the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź – interior architecture and fine arts.

Paweł Igielski – born in 1971 in Krakow. Passionate about photography, which eventually turned into a profession. He engaged in advertising and artictic photography. He works on both cameras, digital and analog, which gives him the opportunity to show reality as it is. His pringboard of advertising photos is searching – in the surrounding world – for light and people whose nature he can explore through photography.

Wit Bogusławski – born in 1960 in Warsaw. He studied at the Faculty of Sculpture of the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Instanbul, Faculty of Sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and Faculty of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław. Graduated from the sculpture studio of Prof. Leon Podsiadły in 1991. The activist of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers and member of the following associations: ,,Fabryka Sztuki”, ,,Składnica Sztuki” and ,,Grupa Hoovera”. Engaged mainly in sculpture as well as painting, ceramics, scenography and interior design.

Kamila Iwańska – born in 1984 in Cracow. Graduate from the Faculty of Painting at Cracow Academy of Fine Arts and from the Faculty of Biotechnology and Horticulture at the University of Agriculture in Cracow. Engaged in painting, drawing, garden designing and artistic education.

Angelika Galus – born in 1976 in Cracow. Graduate from the Faculty of Art at Pedagogical University of Cracow, from the painting studio of Prof. Stanisław Sobolewski. She creates images on the border of reality. She daws from figuration, but she introduces into it elements of magical realism.

Ashley Collin – born in 1988 in Birmingham. He graduated from Falmouth University School of Art in Cornwall. He also studied in Cyprus under the guidance of the leading Cypriot painter Stass Paraskos. His studio practice is completely focused on abstract painting.

Mariusz Dydo – born in 1979 in Tarnów. Graduate from the Faculty of Sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. Engaged in sculpture and painting. In his works he reaches the themes from the world of widely understood culture, with which he balances between classic and pop culture styles, treating them problematically, socially or wittily with lightness.

Emilia Gąsienica-Setlak – born in 1986 in Zakopane. She studied in the studios of Prof. Teresa Korkowska-Rzepecka and Prof. Leszek Misiak at the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. Engaged in painting and workshop graphics. The most important issues of her artistic interests are dynamic colour, brief composition and their synthetic relations to the surroundings.


– Cultural Magazine Foundation, Cracow, VII-X 2016 (presenting the works of A. Galus, K. Iwańska, A. Collin, E. Gąsienica-Setlak);

– Funky Studio Gallery , Warsaw, X-XI 2016 (presenting the works of A. Gzyl, A. Galus, P. Igielski, E. Gąsienica-Setlak);