Anka Dabrowska’s drawings explore the territories both real and imagined. Using a complex interplay of aesthetic and thematic contradictions, she creates drawings and sculptures, that are at once delicate and personal yet detached, fragmented and uncanny. By mapping the city through intense research projects, Dabrowska collects the hidden traces of public and private histories through which we make the city our own. The drawings playfully reinterpret bleak urban and rural landscapes in the intricate style that she has become known for. Dabrowska’s drawings of the tenement blocks, shop fronts, and more recently flowers and insects, are set adrift against the disquieting blankness of an empty page. In some works she uses the irreverent pattern of street graffiti and that of the domestic interiors (wallpaper pattern) to contrast with the fragile precision of her drawn lines, suggesting fragmented stories from the city. Dabrowska’s sculptures mutate and transform in a colourful display of architectural alchemy. Built from the disregarded wreckage of everyday life, Dabrowska combines cardboard, wood, garish plastics and concrete alongside documentary snapshots and bright sprayed graffiti. No material is too base and ‘taste’ is cast aside as consumerism and punk aesthetics collide. Although her work is intensely private and semi-autobiographical, it moves beyond personal circumstances to address the common drift through our shared environment.
Anka Dabrowska (b. 1979 Warsaw, Poland) graduated in 2003 from University of Northumbria in Newcastle where she attained her Masters in Fine Art with distinction. She lives and works in London and has exhibited widely nationally and internationally.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2017 ‘More LIFE’, Paul Smith, Marylebone, London, England, UK 2013 ‘Welcome to Paradise III’ Fundacja Sztuczna, Warsaw, Poland. 2011 ‘Welcome to Paradise II’, Crima’rt Gallery, Milan, Italy. 2010 ‘Welcome to Paradise I’, PayneShurvell Gallery, London, England, UK. 2008 'Four by Four', Sartorial Contemporary Art, London, England, UK.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2017 MADE UP, The Glasgow Art Club, Glasgow, Scotland. SWIMMING POOLS SHOW, Jealous North Gallery, London, England, UK. IN YOUR FACE, Salisbury Art Centre, Salisbury, England, UK. 2016 DRAWING LINES, Jealous East gallery, London, England, UK. WALKING ON SUNSHINE, Studio 73, Brixton, London, England, UK. 2015 CHEMCRAFT: For Love of Chemistry, London, England, UK. CITYSCAPES, JEALOUS East gallery, London, England, UK. 2013 WILD KINGDOM, Siren gallery, London, England, UK. Clifford Chance Annual Gay Pride Art Exhibition, London, England, UK. ‘Works on Paper’, PayneShurvell Collective Gallery, London, England, UK. ‘Open Plan’, Departure Foundation, London, England, UK. 2010 ‘A Bright and Guilty Place’. PayneShurvell Gallery, London, England, UK. 2009 ‘Summer Camp’, Exile, Berlin, Germany. 2007 'Comfort Zones', Oriel Davies Gallery Touring Exhibition, Newtown, Powys, Wales, UK. 2006 'A Place Called Home', Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland, England, UK. 'Continental Breakfast', Maribor Art Gallery, Maribor, Slovenia.
2017 ART CAR BOOT FAIR, Folkestone, Kent, England, UK. 2015 AFFORDABLE ART FAIR NY, New York, USA. MONIKER ART FAIR, London, England, UK. 2014 London Art Fair, London, England, UK. 2013 Multiplied, Christie’s, London, England, UK. 2011 Rome International Art Fair. Crima’rt Gallery, Rome, Italy. 2010 Supermarket Art Fair, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden. 2008 'Arte Santander' International Fair of Contemporary Art, Santander, Spain.
2013 Croydon School of Art. Catwalk backdrop design. 2010 Barts and the London Trust (the new Barts Cancer Centre) Commission, drawings and sculpture, for the permanent collection, London, England, UK. 2009 Vital Arts, limited edition prints, London, England, UK.
2011-2012 Vital Arts - Barts and the London Royal Hospital, London, England, UK.
Awards and Funding
2011 British Council Travel Grant, London, England, UK. 2010 Polish Cultural Institute in London, ‘Welcome to Paradise’, solo exhibition. 2007 Juliet Gomperts Trust Project Award, London, England, UK. 2005 Short-listed for The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2005, London, England, UK. 2004 Arts Council of England, Grants for Individuals, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK.
The Hoxton, Paris, France, permanent collection.
Royal London/Barts NHS Trust, London, England, permanent collection.
Tate archive, Tate Britain, London, England, permanent collection.
The Sarfaty Collection, London, England, permanent collection.
Private collections nationally and internationally.