Just back from a New Year visit to Poland where I visited my girlfriend and saw more of the attractions the country has to offer. This time we took a trip to Wroclaw (a five hour train ride from Warsaw) and there saw amongst other things, the Panorama of Raclawicka. I had no idea what to expect of it, only that it was a large painting of a battle and that we were going to look at it for half an hour. At 3.30pm (our appointed slot) Monika and I made our way along with a number of others, up a slope inside what the Rough Guide describes as a ‘gargantuan wicker basket rendered in concrete’. I could see a part of the painting as we approached from below – the sky and some of the ‘set’ displayed in front of the painting, in this case what looked like a wheel from a cannon. On seeing this my heart sank a little, as the combination of a painting with ‘added scenery’ called to mind a set for some dodgy play, but on reaching the painting proper, and seeing the whole thing in its entirety, I was more than very pleasantly surprised.
The painting itself is 120m long and 15m high and is beautifully painted, and far from being a bit twee, the ‘set’ between the painting and the viewer works really well. And it got me to thinking about my own work and the paintings I made last semester. I want to create something like a panorama, in the style of the paintings I have already created, onto which I can project the shadows of those viewing. I’m not sure how, but it’s an idea nonetheless.