I have been researching the spectacle of global Insta-tourism, following and photo-documenting travelers in the most Instagram-able destinations such as Greenland, Iceland, Mauritius, and Sicily—and in North America, the National Parks and Monuments of the west. In May 2019, I continued this work in Tasmania. As an artist-in-residence at the University of Tasmania Cradle Coast, I created this project. Titled A Place Remembered and Imagined, it involves a collaboration with the local community for whom a spectacular, pristine nature was a part of everyday life.
While electronic devices serve as intermediaries in the travelers’ experience—allowing for curating of the experience for an online audience—my own studio practice in response to the phenomenon is painstakingly slow paced. Thinking of the landscape as a space half-remembered, half-imagined, I paint large scale paper scrolls to be displayed as free standing, contemplative installations. I have also been examining how the pandemic—disrupting global tourism and travel—has altered our perception of the outdoors, which has now become a safe space. Local state parks, city parks and greenways have become a refuge for those living in the cities, including many who have never considered themselves outdoorsmen.
Maja Godlewska is a professor at the College of Arts and Architecture, Charlotte, NC. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the Academy of Fine and Design Arts, Wroclaw, Poland, and received a postgraduate scholarship at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Her work has been exhibited internationally in more than 100 solo and group shows. In addition to receiving numerous grants and fellowships, she has participated in artist-in-residence programs in South and North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.