Maria Kubysh is a Canadian artist and designer, born in Moscow in 1985, lives and works in Berlin.

In the recent events, everyone got hit in the face with the awareness of where they are. Whether travel restrictions or isolation at home — there was no place unaffected. People found themselves confined to one side of some border versus another. Some lucky few got shielded from the tragedy. For some unfortunates, the locales of their captivity spelled death sentences.

This work is about delineating a location. Flags, banners, emblems, and pennants signify many possibilities and granularities of divisions of space. Are locales concrete and demarcated or abstract and fuzzy? It is a country? A city? A continent? Creed? Citizenship? In what cases having a flag over one’s head is a trap versus a privilege?

Kubysh’s painting is about designing intimate relationships between the work and a viewer. The meaning is malleable as the symbols and markings flow in and out of a conscious grasp. The work oscillates between readable, abstract and allusive.

She prefers an accessible approach to her work through a visual treatment of referents. Kubysh leaves a lot of canvas bare and the colours punchy. Setting off an immediate impression and a cascade of associations. Light-hearted and spacious, like a breath of fresh air after lengthy and gloomy confinement.