Hanna Miadzvedzeva (Belarus/Poland)

In one way or another, we always relate ourselves to the space in which we are placed. These spaces, imprinted in our experience in the form of memorised images, inform our perception of the world. Since early childhood, I have been used to taking long walks in nature, and to this moment, these walks, especially those taken in solitude, are my best way to return to the inner dialogue with myself. One-on-one with an open space, we begin to perceive the passage of time differently and, freed from the endless information overload, to hear our thoughts with greater clarity. Observing how nature lives according to its global laws, we can look at all our problems with some detachment and re-evaluate their importance. During my walking meditation sessions, I pay attention not only to the large spaces opening up to my eyes, such as breathtaking mountain vistas, but also to the smallest details of my immediate environment, such as the structures of particular plants.

My sculptures are meditative objects capturing composite images of landscapes rather than concrete representations of specific places. Moreover, it is difficult to tell what scale has been applied in their creation – whether it is the roundness of forested land observed from an aeroplane window or a reference to the lichen-covered rocks directly underfoot in a nearby forest.

This exhibition continues my extended Landscapes project with a sculptural series created over the past three years.  For certain reasons, in this relatively short span of time, my life has radically changed and brought me to a nomadic lifestyle. In just a few years, I have lived and worked in very different places. On the one hand, this lack of constancy can be perceived as a discomfort, but on the other hand, it has enabled me to visit and explore some very interesting locations. The speed at which my new surroundings have been changing has prompted me to reflect on the spaces where I find myself. All these objects made over the past three years across several fellowships, residencies and symposiums are inspired by the landscapes, nature and architecture of the places where I have had the good fortune to create. The sculptures in my Landscapes series are meant to capture and remind me of these places. Not illustratively, as photographs do, but as treasured mementoes that evoke my thoughts and self-perceptions in these spaces.

Hanna Miadzvedzeva was born in 1988 in Minsk, Belarus. She received a BFA (2013) and an MFA (2014) in ceramic art at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts, where she also completed her doctoral studies (2017) with a thesis on the means of artistic expression in contemporary ceramics. Miadzvedzeva taught at the academy for seven years, mainly the history of ceramic art, ceramic design, material studies and experimental ceramics, and supervised her students in experimental traineeships and graduation projects. In 2021, she was forced to leave her teaching post and soon fled Belarus due to political persecution. She is currently based in Poland, where she has been granted political asylum.

The artist has participated in numerous international exhibitions, symposiums and residencies in Romania, China, Japan, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Germany, France, Poland etc., including the Michelangelo Foundation exhibition Homo Faber (2022), the Martinsons Award exhibition at the Latvia Ceramics Biennale (2021) and the Ceramic Laboratory Symposium (2021, 2022). Her artworks are held in public collections in Poland, France, China, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, Belarus, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia.

Miadzvedzeva has won several awards, including the Gold Prize at the 8th China Changchun International Ceramics Symposium and the 1st Yatai Lotus Mountain Prize (Changchun, China, 2019), as well as the Bronze Prize at the International Vasyl Krychevsky Ceramic Art Biennale (Opishne, Ukraine, 2019)

In 2021, Miadzvedzeva joined the International Academy of Ceramics in Geneva, Switzerland.

Exhibition period: 8 December 2023 – 18 February 2024