Barbara Porczynska - 2020 Art Competition Runner Up

Hello Barbara! Congratulations again on winning 2nd place at the 2020 Art Competition. How was the experience of applying for the competition and the resulting process like for you?

It was certainly a very emotional journey! When sending the application, I honestly didn't know what to think. I don't think I was counting to get too much out of the experience. I remember that I thought to at least qualify for the Art Magazine would be great. And it happened, I saw my painting on the entire 32nd page in the magazine. After that, I really wanted to appear at the on-line exhibition. As I eat, my appetite grows, so going through the stages increased my hope for more.

It was fantastic to be among the 20 finalists. I will not deny that I was already counting on the podium then - and I got it! It is true that my painting was not a winner, but to beat so many great artists from different countries and be placed second is a great honour for me.

Please tell us: What was the inspiration behind your winning painting ‘Untamed Fears?

The painting "Untamed Fears" was inspired by my very personal experiences related to the reality that surrounded me. 2020 was a very difficult year, and also extremely busy. I had to face my fears and weaknesses: my body, under the influence of too much stress, because of too many responsibilities, started playing tricks on me. I've faced my own demons. Additionally, being locked up at home due to a pandemic did not make it easier for me to regain my balance. I had to tame my fears, but it wasn't easy. Hence the title "Untamed Fears".

"Untamed Fears" is very important to me. I showed my emotions and how I felt. Despite the fact that the figure in the painting is shaky, she tries to remain calm. She is aware of her condition. He stares intensely at one point. The right hand nervously grips the left hand below the elbow. Outlines of mammoths can be seen in the background. I was inspired by the genesis of fears and the rock paintings from Lascaux. Well, contrary to what people says, fear helped mankind to survive. It was this evolutionary mechanism used to defend humans against the impending dangers of tigers or mammoths that helped us to survive. It sends a signal: run or fight.

As long as fear does not take over human life, it can be very helpful, for example, in building social bonds. On the other hand, problems arise when the fear becomes so great and burdensome that it does not allow people to function freely. It is terrible how many people struggle with all sorts of anxiety disorders. The fight alone against the invisible enemy, not really understanding what's wrong. Depression. I believe that this type of disorder should be spoken of loudly. This is a very important topic that should be taken up, to make the society aware of how big the problem is. It is impossible to get rid of fears, they will always accompany us. But you can learn to live with them and learn to tame "Untamed Fears".