Head series represent my journey through illness, self discovery and healing process.
The Heads is a series of paintings that was created over a period of 10 years since 2010. It became my personal diary that illustrated my life journey and long term treatment and 30 surgeries.
My friend Alexander wrote a beautiful piece about it.
"The Heads series of paintings is made up of 8 large scale (2m x 2m each) paintings by Agata di Masternak. Distinctive and visceral, this evocative series of works communicates from the depth of the artist's own suffering and despair. Each work explores a different perspective on the theme - that of the artist examining the impact of her own mortal demise on both herself and others around her.
The knowledge that these paintings were immediately preceded by a nightime hemorrhage - so severe that the artist was not expected to last the night and was given life saving surgery the next morning - does strongly impact the way the works are experienced.
What is accessed through these works is beyond the experience of most and it is this rare, privileged viewpoint that we are invited to share. Sometimes featured are columns and rows of friends, family, acquaintances - some completely obscured, others still visible in different stages of visibility or dissolving back into the ether or in various states of obstruction. Sometimes her own floating ethereal outline connects these people together - as if part of her wider identity. In other works she focuses exclusively on her own terrified and distorted physiognomy - which tells the story - the feelings she went through when she was staring death in the face.
Ultimately, I see these paintings as Agata's testament to life shining brightly inside her - a concentration of her complete life-force - an expression of her dismay, terror and her determination to draw something positive from the real likelihood of her own demise.
The works are a protest against just letting go without a fight, of hope over despair and the power of art to say something of the ineffable, of that which can last well beyond our own mortality; they capture something of the artist's extreme experience in a way that directs us to contemplate what life is at its core all about. They are an opportunity to consider what can emerge when all seems lost - it is an art form both sacred, profound and about as authentic as you could imagine".
Alexander de Cadenet
Heads No1, oil, gouache on canvas, 190x190cm, 2010-2019