Approached with a patent warmth and restraint, Mirga-Tas presents the heroes and heroines of Nowa Huta in a style distinct from the Herculean 'new Roma' featured in 1950s propaganda. Instead, she opts for a series of contemplative portraits based on photographs sourced from family archives. The ghosts of the district’s inhabitants are summoned to the artist’s yawning canvas – measuring over two and half metres squared – memorialised in vibrant patchworked garms.
Siukar Manusia, Mirga-Tas’ first UK exhibition, follows the thread of the artist’s most ambitious work to date, Re-enchanting the World (2022) presented in the Polish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale. Inspired by the renaissance frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara, Italy, the floor-to-ceiling tapestry was divided into three horizontal bands that storyboard mythical wanderings, the Romani European settlement and contemporary hometown life. The central belt includes dozens of portraits of people personally important to the artist including family members and neighbours, shepherding the rich history of the Romani people to the present day. It is from this central section that these new works depart.