Cover image of the review
Paulina Ołowska, Principia and her pet, 2021, oil on canvas, 220.3 x 160.1cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

Paulina Ołowska, Principia and her pet (2021)

30 Mar 2024
National Gallery of Victoria | NGV International 3 Dec - 7 Apr 2024

Footnotes for the painting Principia and Her Pet (2021) by Paulina Ołoswka.

1. Just as in fashion, where one assembles a garment using patterns, in art one assembles an image (image here means idea, painting, sculpture or otherwise) using references. The separate parts are joined to form one enshrining whole.

2. There is an inevitability to mythology. Dragons are rare in their ubiquity, in that they appear in every lore, across culture and place. They are archetypal; their existence is most likely born from humanity’s innate fear of snakes, bolstered by the urge to explain staggering natural phenomena such as thunderstorms and lightning, and brought to life by the pre-scientific discovery of the skeletons of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. Ołowska alludes to this in painting three images of the dragon; there is the depiction of Principia’s pet, the European fresco in the frame behind Principia, and the East Asian carved ornament sitting on the cabinetry.

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