New Series: Liminal Spaces

I would like to announce a new series I am working on exploring liminal spaces. Currently, it does not have its own page so here are the first two paintings of the series.

What is a liminal space?

Liminal is a term used in psychology and mediation to refer to a state of transition or lack of definition. A liminal space refers to architecture and this psychological phenomenon that brings on nostalgia in most people looking at images of these spaces. Spaces that lack definition or are in a state of transition are spaces like hallways, waiting rooms, airports, cafeterias, especially old malls. Some of these spaces only have purpose if they are in use.

Empty high school hallway by karolina szablewska liminal space watercolor painting
An empty high school hallway. Remember being here between classes when it is full? Or being fashionably late and remembering the emptiness?

I never thought an internet trend could overlap with my art and there’d be such a subject I felt so well versed in as this. I was always very aware of these spaces when I was a child. It was strange how generic there were, how creepy they were when they’re empty. So to say the least, I am excited about this series and hopefully it can keep my attention, alas my biggest fault when it comes to working in serial works.

nine birthday balloon creepy exit sign by karolina szablewska liminal space watercolor painting
A metallic 9 birthday balloon bounces off a ceiling in an endless creepy hallway with a glowing exit sign.

Looking at Dead Mall

The last few years I got really into Dan Bell’s YouTube channel that has a wholes series on abandoned malls. It is truly fascinating for me as a 90s kid, where going to the mall was a big part of everyday life. Now with Amazon, big warehouse stores, and so much online shopping thanks to the pandemic combined with constant connection via the internet — the mall atmosphere is forgotten when it was once a social space for everyone to people watch and hangout. These spaces became truly creepy and depressing, mixed with a weird suburban 80s/90s afterglow nostalgia.

New Painting for Cyborg Series

Now that I have a proper painting space, I returned to my More Human Than Human series. I am currently working on a “happier” painting of a surfer. If I were a cyborg and could transcend human limits…I would definitely do things I can’t do that seem cool like surfing and snowboarding and I think any subject can be painted even if it seems cheesy.

Karolina painting a surfing robot oil painting more human than human

One thing very hard about doing this series now is just how much my ideas and motivation has faded. There is definitely merit in doing something the moment it is conceived before it decays or enough time passes that change makes the concept less relevant. I definitely cannot jump into the same mindset that motivated the series as easily. But! I’m not going to give it up. I will have to come up with better ideas.

Stay tuned for more of these. Also, check out my store and gallery page for new art from 2021.

Did you like this post? For a coffee a month, you can support good content and be entered into original art giveaways!
Become an art patron.

Subscribe to my newsletter!

Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $ 0.00