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Basic Social Unit Hierarchies


Kasia Koralewska


September 17 – November 5, 2021


A/P Main Gallery

About the exhibition

Basic Social Unit Hierarchies focuses on matriarchal and patriarchal elements within a basic social unit – a family. I study the distinction between these two models, based on my and my partner’s genealogical histories. I investigate the generational (three generations) and ethnographic (Slavic and Acadian) differences and transformations regarding gender-imposed roles within studied families. I hope that the process, along with the installation culminating my research will, to some extent, elucidate my position and identity as a woman in my own family. 

The work consists of two pillars. The first one depicts the dynamics between matriarchal and patriarchal elements within my family. The second one is a graphic representation of these dynamics in my partner’s family. The inspiration for this project was my curiosity to find out how our (my and my partner’s) different histories and experiences have impacted our understanding of the partnership in a domestic context. I want to be aware of any behavioral tendencies we both might have inherited into our home life. I hope for this piece to also inspire my audience to revisit the homes where they come from and to analyze how the domestic models that they have experienced influence their current relationships. 

Inspired by the 18th century Toile de Jouy, my pieces are printed on canvas in monochromatic blues and reds. The motifs of traditional Toile de Jouy depicted idyllic scenes of every-day life. My drawings of family life might seem to be pleasant at first, but after a closer look, they also show loneliness, neglect, boredom, and anxiety. 

About the artist

Kasia Koralewska is a textile-based artist and art educator currently living in Calgary, Canada. She received her education at the Alberta College of Art & Design in Calgary, Canada and Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland (Master of Fine Arts 2009). She presently teaches in the Fibre program at the Alberta University of the Arts. 

Her research focuses on various techniques and processes that transform the surface of the cloth. Her artistic practice involves creating large-scale silkscreen printed, dyed, and painted textiles, wearable objects, drawings, and installations. 

Her work has been exhibited in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, and Canada. 


September 17, 2021
November 5, 2021
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