I first accidentally omitted the word Anthology from the exhibition name when compiling information for the gallery program. Just when I was thinking about how to best describe and name the installation that was created in Galerie mladých this exact word came to mind.
All the emotions and events of the year are embedded in the portrayed symbols and subtly so also in the changing artistic expression, that is drawing and painting. The reader goes over the topics in a series similarly to the way they would if they read through chapters of an anthology. It is no accident that I speak of reading. Anna Fiedlerová accompanies her paintings with lyrical comments which are, however, not a part of the installation or of the paintings themselves.
For now, their role is internal as they are short notes revealing the mental experience of characters from stories, which are not explicitly present in the paintings, and we rather perceive their close presence through various indicators. Metaphor is also a fundamental working tool for Anna. It manifests itself in painting by the stylization of motifs which then provide generous space for imagination. Even this basic sign characteristic led to a few misunderstandings in Anna’s paintings. What appeared to one of us as feminine appeared as masculine to the other and vice versa. Symbols accumulate, transform, come back and are not afraid to be intimate. And it is the fusion of all these aspects that create the plasticity and depth of her expression.
I forgot to wear gloves when picking rose hips. The gloves are leather, old and a bit scuffed from the wire mesh. It is better to wear them. The sun sweatly shines, the rose hips are like beads. Threaded on a string they look like garnets. A ring on my hand gliters, garnets on my neck shine red. Dark green forest, dry patches.
In the anthology we read about a story of a young farm girl from a folk song. The farm girl is represented by the symbols of rose hips, puffballs, balls of yarn or by an apron and bonnets. The young woman longs for an easy way to quickly fathom the mysteries of adulthood. Instead, the bush thorns scratch her hands as she is picking the fruit. Her effort, determination and inexperience only arouse ridicule from the adults. Relating and care, especially if it is not requested or unacknowledged, can be restraining and tiring for the farm girl.
A plum under my tongue. Today it is a plum, tomorrow sloes and then nothing for a long time. I look forward to blooming trees. When she sucks on sloes, she makes faces so much she can’t laugh for a long while after.
The necessary relieve is brought by the answer of the wind and by a meeting with an old friend. A gardener. The gardener is the main character of stories from previous series of paintings. He comes from a foreign land; he is a free thinker and also childishly honest. He builds utopian buildings and asks simple sometimes even naïve questions. I feel his presence through the symbols of towers and houses. Even though the adults know that you wear gloves when you go picking rose hips, they do not know the answers to the gardener’s questions. They are caught unawares in their ignorance, but the farm girl and gardener do not laugh at them. They pack up food, picked fruit from the garden with a few essential things and together they set out for a journey.
The coach already stands at the Yellow Circle stop. I enter and there sits a lady. She gazes at me with questioning brown eyes. Why and how? The couch travels a rather rocky road.
They are all alone now, but they are not afraid because they know they are allowed to make mistakes. They try to build their first houses. They are perhaps a little eccentric and eclectic to fit in, but they are safe. The roofs are inspired by the architecture of the oriental land, the gardener’s home. The farm girl decorates domes and the tops of spiky roofs with weathervanes. The symbol of the weathervane can represent a whole register of meanings. I interpret it not only as the Czech crown or as a bonnet but also as the indicator of direction and therefore as listening to one’s intuition. The wind is free and the relaxation, which it can also represent, is observable in other formats of Anna’s paintings. We can see towers with weathervanes, apron ribbons intertwine and wrap around each other as if in a whirlwind. The wind is a friend and the direction it points in can be trusted.