The Copper House Gallery will launch Slackwater, a photographic exhibition by 2013 Propeller Award winner Maciej Pestka, from 6-8pm on Thursday 8th May 2014. The Propeller Award is an annual award to support and mentor graduate students, providing an exhibition, portfolios and prints for 10 graduates each year. The 2013 Propeller Award is the final disbursement of the €150,000 Fire Arts Awards, launched at The Copper House Gallery in September 2011 by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan T.D..
Slackwater is a testimony to Grabówek, a district on the outskirts of Gdynia in Poland, based on series of photographs produced over a year. This region has experienced great prosperity followed by economic collapse due to the rise and decline of Poland's shipyards. Grabówek's tight-knit community enjoy freedoms associated with unregulated urban planning, but at the same time suffer from a lack of municipal services and neglect. It is a place in a state of suspense, frozen in time, replete with makeshift dwellings that are more reminiscent of the Polish countryside than city dwellings.
Slackwater documents a sense of fragile temporality but also one of fierce independence. Grabówek is an unofficial town, a place that bears testimony to the sociopolitical changes of the late 1990's in Poland. It also critically exposes a sense of fragmentation, evoking painful memories of a former controlling state in a place where citizens are equally dispossessed.
Limited editions of Slackwater, a self-published photo-book by Maciej Pestka in association with Read That Image, will be available for sale on the night of the launch and pre-orders of Slackwater photo-book can be taken on the night.
Polish born Maciej Pestka is a Dublin-based artist and photographer. A graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology, he is also a co-founder of Read That Image photobook collective.