Beata Veszely: On The Way To Heaven
The Hungarian artist Beáta Veszely investigates the experience of the impossible, experience that can only be approached through extreme physical and spiritual endurance at the limits of the possible. The artist practices horse archery, through which she connects a sense of deep spirituality, closeness to animals in the natural landscape, and the old knowledge of the nomads of the Eurasian Steppes.
At the exhibition in Galerija Balen, Beáta Veszely will premier her latest film On the Way to Heaven and show a series of drawings in which the figure of the horse archer appears on newspaper cuttings, fashion magazines and art journals. Her horse archers emerge from the layers of forgotten knowledge, pointing their arrows towards the superficiality and consumerist attitude of contemporary lifestyles.
Beáta Veszely (born 1970, Budapest) studied at the Hungarian Academy of Art, completed post-graduate studies at Goldsmiths College in London, and is the director of the TIPP collaborative research programme between the two institutions. She has exhibited in the Mûcsarnok in Budapest , the ICA in London , IFA Gallery in Berlin , Secession in Vienna , and elsewhere. She will be the Hungarian representative in the exhibition series New Arrivals at Modern Ar
t Oxford in 2007. On the Way to Heaven at Galerija Balen is her first show in Croatia.
The exhibition is curated by Maja and Reuben Fowkes www.translocal.org
Beata Veszely's artistic language is fully interdisciplinary, from new media - video and digital technology, to traditional techniques such as painting and drawing, although she also uses found materials, images and texts in her work. Furthermore, performance is one of the most important aspects of her practice, both in the narrower sense of artistic activity in a gallery setting, and more widely through her active engagement with the issue of the artist's body in the landscape.
Horses are at the sentre of her artistic interests, and appear as themes in her painting and drawing, as well as in performances in which the artist rides on horseback - for example, in 'Guarding the Gallery', in which the artist paraded up and down in front of a London gallery. Beata Veszely is one of only a few dozen people in Hungary who practice the ancient art of horse archery.
Equally, the figure of the horse archer is a frequent theme of her drawings on paper, in which the artist uses pages from international dailys, women's magazines, and art journals featuring interviews, adverts or exhibition reviews as a base for her drawings that show a figure on horseback, who in some way responds to the content. Through this work, the artist investigates the deep mythic and religious sense of an old knowledge. She states: 'I am interested in people as a species that sit on another animal's back (the horse), an act that is suggested to them by the animal.' It is noteworthy that Beata Veszely is active in Britain and Hungary, two countries for which horsemanship is about much more than sport, and is regarded as part of national heritage.