Janusz Stega

Polish Blue


The commission

Janusz Stega, the French artist of Polish origin, carried out a specific project with the Polish community of the city of Stavanger. The population of Polish immigrants is important in the city, but nevertheless discreet and remains largely unknown to the local residents. The desire expressed by the patrons was to commission a work of art that would integrate and involve immigrant workers living in Norway, some of whom do not speak the language, by forming a group around a shared commission.

The artwork

The artist spent some time in Stavanger as part of a residency to meet the Polish community. Torunn Larsen, project manager of the art centre - Rogalandkunstsenter - enabled the artist to meet representatives of the Polish community: Polish workers, Ryszard Kalinowski, president of the Polish association in Stavanger; Kasymierz Rochowicz, house painter; Zygmunt Majcher, priest of the Catholic church in Stavanger.

First, the artist carried out a performance with the group of Polish workers at the art centre. The work entitled Polish Blue, echoing the blue of the fjords and designed specifically for the art centre, was carried out in two stages: the workers worked on two walls of the exhibition space, a surface delimited by the artist, which they covered with blue paint and then Janusz Stega superimposed Polish motifs using his rollers. Old furniture was installed near the work, forming a vintage living room with the possibility for the participants to occupy it and have their (Polaroid) picture taken. With music, gastronomy and the artist's performance, a part of Poland was recreated in Stavanger.

Then Ryszard Kalinowski from the Polish association, the "reference person" of the group of workers, suggested that Janusz Stega create a permanent commissioned work on a wall of the Polish International House in Stavanger. Janusz Stega created the work, which was inaugurated two days later. The project was a bridge between the two communities.

The artist

Born on 26 September in Krakow (Poland), Janusz Stega lives and works in Lille. Trained at the Tourcoing School of Fine Arts, ERSEP, in 2003 he was awarded a residency at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto (Japan).

Janusz Stega draws part of his inspiration from the collective memory of a past marked by the technique of interior murals in Poland. His appropriation of the scroll refers to artists who, before him, appropriated a means, a specific technique in order to explore all its artistic and theoretical facets. Working from engraved images taken from the heart of the city: manhole covers, etc., Janusz Stega wonders about contemporary painting, its object, its achievements, its context.