Wanda Michalak “Beware of Stonefish” 29.11.2014 – 01.02.2015

November 29, 2014 11:24 pm Published by
WM Gallery is delighted to present the photography exhibition
“Beware of Stonefish” by Wanda Michalak.
From 29-11-2014 till 01-02-2015

“Beware of Stonefish”: a photographic take on beauty, danger and humour in the new Australian series by Wanda Michalak

On Saturday November 29th 2014, WM Gallery will have the pleasure to open the exhibition ‘Beware of Stonefish’ by photographer Wanda Michalak at Amsterdam’s WM Gallery. Beware of Stonefish is the photographic culmination of more than four years of wanderings through Australia’s byways and highways. Fluid, liquid and saturated, Michalak’s images are a visual ‘Walkabout’ on acid, that most quintessential of autochthonous Australian experiences. Beware of Stonefish demonstrates a rare sensibility in the art of looking.

From sublimely beautiful landscapes, ephemeral cloudscapes and incandescent sunscapes to distorted shadow plays, rotting automobiles and the surprising exhibitionism of a kangaroo’s testicles, Beware of Stonefish is a delicate interplay between beauty, danger and the inevitability of good old Aussie humour. The title of the exhibition is in itself a direct reference to this permutation of Down Under experientiality. Consider a remote, pristine beach, the beauty of which is indescribable in words. Imagine stripping off your clothes and rushing in towards the surf to plunge into the dazzling aquamarine liquid. Just before you do so, stop! Take a second. Because you will undoubtedly see several of the myriad signs of danger and admonition that point out the dangers of jellyfish, crocodiles, sharks, snakes and yes; stonefish. The bights, stings and poisons of which will turn your ramble in paradise into an agonising hike to hell.

Beware of Stonefish can only fully be appreciated in its totality, as a series, in a deliberate sequence of visual rhythm and poetry. Like Terra Australis itself, it needs to be experienced to be fully appreciable by the viewer. Once inside the confines of WM Gallery’s walls, one can finally be swept along the fluid liquidity of its landscaped imagery, the crystalline saturation of its bittersweet acidity and finally, disembark at the tail end of a remarkable collection of cautions, warnings and admonitions regarding Australia’s dangers and endangered.

With Beware of Stonefish, Michalak demonstrates that, armed with nought but an i-phone and an uncanny eye for the majestic as well as the minute, one may paint poetry onto the canvas of a Continent.

Wanda Michalak will be present at the opening ofBeware of Stonefish

Wanda Michalak: I was born in Poland. Early childhood spent in the fumes of photo chemicals which probably influenced the choice of my future profession. But not straight away. It took years of growing up, finishing various schools, having a baby, moving out of Poland, arriving in Amsterdam, moving out to the Cook Islands then New Zealand to find out that photography was the thing.

I followed a course of photography in Auckland’s Carrington Polytechnic which was fun. Having finished that, ended up back in Amsterdam. Taught photography in Amsterdam and in Warsaw. Gave work-shops as far as Brazil.


Photo’s from the opening: Saturday 29-11, 17:00-19:00