Darya Koltsova
Entering the forest
10.10-28.11.2020 and 29.05-12.06.2021


This autumn, the Lescer Art Center presents a solo exhibition by Darya Koltsova. Hailing from Kharkiv and working in Kyiv, the artist often works with projects in which the place of their implementation plays an important role. It is a philosophy close to that of the Lescer Art Center, located outside a large city center, thirty kilometers away from Warsaw, placed in the middle of a forest. And it is the forest, along with the numerous symbols and metaphors associated with it, that is the main protagonist of the exhibition.


In 1911, the Ukrainian poet and writer Lesia Ukrainka created her most famous work. The poetic drama The Forest Song tells the story of Mavka, a forest nymph who falls in love with a man. The unexpected feelings between representatives of two different worlds lead to a dramatic course of events, caused by irreconcilable differences between the worlds of people and nature. The beauty of the forest and the fantastic creatures that live in it contrasts with the reality of the world of people who do not understand the power of nature. People's world is filled with pettiness, jealousy, and competition. The inability to reconcile the two realities leads to a tragedy in which both people and fantastic creatures suffer. The impossibility to communicate is underlined by the author next to the need to remain true to oneself and one's nature - rejecting it always leads to suffering.


Returning to the classic Ukrainian poem, Koltsova presents a forest that symbolizes our true nature, from which we often run away or are forced to renounce. Our inner forest often remains unknown and unexplored, and a trip into it may turn out to be a path full of dangers and pitfalls. This inner world from which our actions and emotions emerge can also allow us to understand our fears and traumas if we dare to delve into it. Therefore, Koltsova's works are also of an initiatory nature - only when we decide to enter the forest will transformation or understanding take place. This initiation can also be associated with the transformation from a girl into a woman, hence the numerous female threads in Koltsova's works.


Although the project is universal, it also concerns the situation of artists in the contemporary world - often misunderstood, living in a different reality than the rest of society, and operating on the fringes of it. However, rejecting generally accepted norms allows them to see more and be in tune with their inner world, which they choose to reveal to others.


Darya Koltsova

Born in 1987 in Kharkiv. In her artistic practice, she works with memory and post-trauma, she is also interested in the body and feminist threads. Her works were presented, among others, at the Mystetskyi Arsenal Art Center and at the PinchukArtCentre in Kyiv. In 2015, she was nominated for PinchukArtPrize.


Subsidized by the National Centre for Culture under the program Kultura – Interwencje 2020.

Partners of the exhibition: Piaseczno municipality, Centre of Culture in Piaseczno, Book & Art, Grupa CSV.

Special thanks to Krystyna Stawecka and Andrzej Szczygielski.


Curator: Ewa Sułek

Producer: Paweł Zaręba.