Apnea is a series of paintings created in 2019-2020 to capture a unique atmosphere of the Spetses island by a... Read More
Apnea is a series of paintings created in 2019-2020 to capture a unique atmosphere of
the Spetses island by a Polish painter residing in Greece, Aleksandra Osa.
The word Apnea stands for lack of air, inability to catch a breath and absence of wind on
Aleksandra visited the island in October 2019.
“In my latest series – Apnea – I intent to visualise my impressions of the island of
Spetses at the very end of touristic season. I found this place incredibly silent and calm.
In my paintings I attempted to express the feeling of stillness and timelessness I
Greece aesthetically and culturally is an opus magnum. For a foreign artist, interpreting
and commenting it is a very delicate task. It is the equivalent to an actor playing a living
In a matter of visual art Greece generates a substantial labour – Greek landscape is
undoubtedly beautiful but at the same time coloristically limited. Painting the “Aegean
blue” sea and sky is balancing at the edge of vulgarity. Capturing the essence of this
view in an elegant and sophisticated way requires deep understanding and long
Painting Greece is a challenge not only for painters. John Fowles wrote in Magnus:
“A novelist has to enter deeper exile still. In most outward ways the experience was
depressive, as many young would-be writers and painters who have ever gone to
Greece have discovered. We used to have a nickname for the sense of inadequacy and
accidie it produced – the ‘Aegean blues’. One has to be a very complete artist to create
good work among the purest and most balanced landscapes on the planet...The Greece
of the Islands is Circe still; no place for the artist- voyager to linger long, if he cares for
Unlike my other paintings this series does not portrait people. Instead, empty
restaurants, lonely boats, and the summer-ending sky are my subjects. The light is hazy
and can only be paralleled to the golden hour light. Turquoise and blue tones enhance
the sense of stillness and loneliness. The geometric interruption of the pink lines tears
the composition and generates distraction. Like a ghost screaming for attention, saying
I’m here even you cant see me.
Albeit the paintings were finished in February, now I see them in a whole different way.
They have obtained a new and terrifying meaning in the view of recent events.
I am writing this during the lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis. I am experiencing a
broad variety of emotions as is everyone else.
One moment I feel suffocated and overwhelmed by fear and another simple
frustration. But the dominant feeling is loneliness. The Apnea series is about stillness
and resistance to movement. It exudes an analogous atmosphere to the one I
experience now, with the difference that now we are hoping and expecting for a
change. I believe we all are slowly adjusting to this difficult situation, one that none of
us was expecting nor had been prepared for. Moreover, it is evident that life as we knew
it will not be the same. Will the world resort now more than ever to globalism or will it
turn towards isolationism? Will we open the hermetically-sealed borders once again?
Will we became less social? Will this experience change peoples values and goals and if
so how? What about our lifestyles, our priorities?”