The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.

The Gallery at presents:

Hanna Haska

It was Good Friday when I pulled up this month's digital artist for review -- and, of course to some people Good Friday represents dark thoughts. If don't know if that had some significant subconscious effect on my reaction, but I immediately had to ask...

Was it Premonition?

Hanna Haska is a Canadian artist of Polish origin and one of the winners of the Macworld 2001 Digital Art Gallery Contest. Over the past months we've been spotlighting those winners in the Design Center Gallery, and Hanna was scheduled for this month.
      Upon revisiting her entry however I was immediately impressed, seeing her award winning piece "The Temple" in an entire new light. Could this art somehow have been a premonition of things that would come on September 11?
      You may think the image above was painted after September 11, but it wasn't. This art was diaplayed at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City on July 18, as part of a three-day annual world exhibition.
      Hanna Haska, like a present-day Bosch or Brueghel, sends the world a unique, alarming visual SOS, aware of the perils of the twenty-first century, concerned for man's natural and spiritual environment. But her way of seeing the world, shocking as it may be in its accurate pinpointing of the most disquieting perils, is not unequivocally pessimistic as it also shows the possibilities of salvation. This optimism, which people so badly crave, wins the artist constantly new enthusiasts, as her visions emanate the belief that the powers of spirit and reason will not permit the ultimate unsettling of the equilibrium of the planet Earth. Yet in this vision we can clearly be reminded of the World Trade Center, and those unsettling events of September 11.
(See the "TOWER" in a new browser window)
(See the award winning "TEMPLE" in a new browser window)

Pablo Picasso once said:
"Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth."

Hanna chats with DT&G

Sometimes the question asks "Does art realize the truth?"

Hanna writes:

By heart I am a fine painter (extensively educated in fine and applied arts; illustration, design and photography). Fourteen years ago I was confronted with emerging new tool, the computer.  Things become complicated when artist-friendly software like Photoshop and Painter emerged. It opened the gate for fine artists to step into virgin area of mathematics in digitally extended visual possibilities.

I was always struggling with variety of techniques trying to identify which one would help me convey all our complex reality. The hardship of mastering different techniques was not a stranger to me -- I went through oil painting, water colour, gouache, pastels, charcoal, pencil, aquatint, aquafort, lithography, screen printing, photography and others.  And then I choose to collaborate with my computer -- Photoshop was my tool of choice.
For winning picture "The Temple" I used Photoshop 5.0 software and KPT 3.0 and 5.0 filters. In the foreground, I multiplied images of the high-rise buildings of Toronto depicting symbolic city of the present time. It is where I live now. Pictures were taken by me during small plane trip over the city.
For the back and middle grounds I utilized fragments of Romanesque architecture to create the imaginative "Temple" dominating the space -- and Antiochia - an ancient biblical city.

The painting has been growing until materializing at the end of 2000. The message is about the future of humanity. It is symbolic vision and as such is not intended to be realistic. If I have to express that picture with words I would quote 18 century Polish poet Cyprian Kamil Norwid:


The past, death and pain are not acts of God,
But of law-breaking man,
Who therefore lives in dread
And sensing evil, wants oblivion!

But is he not like a child in a dray
Crying, "Oh, look, the oak's
Disappearing in the wood...",
While the oak's still and the child's borne away?

The past is now ? though somewhat far:
Behind the dray a village barn,
And not something somewhere
Never seen by man!...

Cyprian Kamil Norwid (1821-1883)
Translation; Adam Czerniawski

Hanna Haska earned her master's degree in 1976 at the Art Academy of Warsaw, Department of Applied Graphics, in the class of the master of the renowned Polish poster school, Prof. Henryk Tomaszewski. She also studied computer graphics at the Kansas City Art Institute and interactive multimedia design at the Digital Media Studios of the University of Toronto, Canada. Today, her work is exhibited in Canada, the U.S., Europe and and China. Her compositions are part of museum collections in Rome, Toronto, Kansas City, and of private collections in Canada, the U.S., Japan, Sweden, Ireland, Poland and Hungary.

She lives in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada and you can see much more of her work at:

Plate: "Temple" by Hanna Haska
Plate: "
Tower" by Hanna Haska

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