18th February 2021
South Devon College’s own art lecturer, Pav Szymanski, is having a range of his fantastic work featured in an international exhibition.
From Friday 19th to Sunday 28th February 2021 the contemporary art exhibition “LOVE MY BODY – We need different eyes” will be held at M.A.D.S. digital gallery 7.0, an innovative art space in the heart of Milan and the first permanent digital art gallery that welcomes artists and their works, revolutionising exhibition methods through high-definition digitisation and augmented reality technology. (1)
Pav talks about one of his many featured pieces titled ‘Malaika Mzuri’ in a post on his website and in the exhibition:
“She is a single mother of two and has no permanent residence. One daughter has a disability. She has no contact with the other child. Due to her turbulent upbringing, she received no education and is now struggling with basic reading and writing skills. She has no realistic chances of getting any meaningful employment. To survive, she has few options: the most lucrative is to marry a rich foreigner, the other other choices are less appealing.
“Her life has been filled with pain, abuse and hardship. A long chain of continuous disasters and predicaments has started to affect the “perfect” look. At 33, her outstanding natural beauty is vanishing rapidly while making her future more and more uncertain.” (2)
The exhibition, curated by Camilla Gilardi and Silvia Grassi, aims to present the work of artists active on the international art scene. The exhibition identifies itself as a spokesperson for body positivity and pursues the objective of giving a stop to this phenomenon (recognisable as a real form of bullying), not by dialoguing, but by using the tool of art. On this occasion, M.A.D.S. wants to represent the starting point of a process aimed at gaining awareness of oneself and one’s physical appearance, attributing the right value to its uniqueness.
Transforming our points of weakness into our distinctive brand, converting the demons that make us fall into the trap of our own physical appearance into a charge of energy.
Seneca, Roman philosopher, playwright, and politician, already in the first century A.D., affirmed that who is a slave to his own body cannot be considered free: a farsighted analysis if you examine today’s society. Some dangerous and inadequate questions often knock on the mind of many. It is essential that you ask yourself: why am I a prisoner of a shell that torments and causes anguish to me? I do not like myself or is it perhaps the judgment of others that leads me to think this?
The exhibition identifies itself as a spokesperson for body positivity and pursues the aim to halt this phenomenon (recognisable as a real form of bullying), not by dialogue but using the tool of art. On this occasion M.A.D.S. wants to represent the starting point of a path aimed at becoming aware of oneself and of one’s physical appearance, conferring the right value on its uniqueness. Transforming our weaknesses into our distinguishing mark.
LOVE MY BODY represents a tribute to self-esteem which, if well preserved and nourished, is the winning arm in order to face important challenges and, at the same time, the secret to being in harmony with oneself, both in front of a mirror and surrounded by a crowd. (3)
Steve Caunter, Assistant Principal at South Devon College, said: “At South Devon College we are very proud of Pav and his achievements. His work continues to be inspirational for our students and staff. During lectures and lessons, it’s a real joy to listen to Pav describe his art and the story behind the motivation to paint.
“Personally, Pav has opened my eyes to what art can do for wellbeing; creating a distraction from the busy world and helping to concentrate on detail whilst paying more attention to the environment we live in.”
If you’d like to learn from Pav, a true master of his craft, and the rest of the experienced team at South Devon College, you can browse our range of art courses by visiting southdevon.ac.uk and apply online.
You view Pav’s work here and you can find out more about the exhibition and more about M.A.D.S on their website madsmilano.com.