Fresh, exciting, like some refrain from an old classic tune, are the two words that spring to mind when looking at the work of Bianca Hlywa.
An undergraduate exchange student at the Bezalei Academy of Fine Art and Design in Jerusalem, she has completed the majority of her bachelor education in Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal, which continues to hone some of the best in contemporary artists. She represents the new generation, whose eventail of media seems unlimited, borrowing from the Masters as much as from the cutting edge contemporary sources, video, performing arts et al. Talented and versatile, young and enthusiastic, she is a breath of fresh air, full of promise. What strikes is her audacity and social engagement. The numerous videos she has produced in her still nascent career, attest to this. Referencing everything from politics to art, she imbues each with unexpectedly profound reflection for someone so young. Humour and social commentary weave through these short vignettes, with the artist often taking centre stage, but her presence is in the service of art and idea, not self-promotion. They often have a painterly, purely visual feel to them, each with a distinct personal touch. The titles of her video and performance pieces speak of Hlywa’s many interests, from psychology (Relax, exploring the «sometimes paralyzing effect demands can have on a person whether they are made internally or externally»), to sociology (God Save the Queen, from her Praise series focusing on different forms of worship in contemporary society), to theatrical performance, as in the hilarious Activities with Large Hands, in which the artists, equipped with gigantic papier-mâché hands attempts to perform everyday functions like eating a fruit or washing. Versatile and outspoken, she has seen her work displayed in a variety of venues such as galleries and magazines. « The works that I have produced are responses done on a case-by-case basis to interests usually dealing with human psyche or environmental circumstance,» she explains. «This process creates a body of work, which is considerably varied in terms of media; each medium is used as a different language, which speaks to its particular concern or concept. As for now, my concerns have tended to yield a response, which uses the combination of new media with elements of performance, drawing and sculpture to create interactive installation environments.» Using «exploration of humanity and the environment» as a platform for her work, Hlywa is as nonconformist and original as she is committed to engaging the viewer in a creative dialogue. An artist to definitely keep in our artistic radar.