Małgorzata Mirga-Tas is a Bergitka Roma visual artist whose main technique is sculpting in cardboard. She was born in Zakopane, Poland, in 1978 and grew up, lives and works in a Roma settlement in Czarna Góra in the Spisz region. After finishing Antoni Kenar Art School in Zakopane, where she specialised in furniture, she graduated in 2004 from the sculpture department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, taught by Jan Matejko.
Her drawings and paintings are created with the use of mixed pastels, various types of paints, newspapers clippings, sequins, cardboard, fabrics, etc. Finding inspiration in her Roma roots, her works feature Roma motives and ornamental shapes, pulsating with lively colours and decorative, strong lines. Her latest paintings explore Roma people and their everyday lives in Roma settlements and communities.
In 2014 her artistic activity was dedicated to Samudaripe – The Roma Genocide. A highlight of these pieces is the sculpture titled Zalikierdo Drom [The Interrupted Journey], which was created in her trademark cardboard technique and featured in a group exhibition addressing the genocide. Depicting an abandoned vardo wagon in a forest, it is an allegory of the Nazi executions of entire Roma families during World War II, and refers to the way that the persecuted Roma travelled with their wagons, finding a degree of safety only in forests far away from cities and villages.
As an activist fighting for Roma communities, Małgorzata engages in several different social and artistic projects aimed against social exclusion, racial discrimination and xenophobia. She leads integration art workshops for Roma and non-Roma children and is a co-author of multiple projects including ‘Romani Click’ and ‘Romani Art’. For five years she has been creating and coordinating Jaw Dikh!, an international community for Roma and Non-Roma artists. She was the organiser and also one of the exhibiting artists at the Kali Berga exhibition, which explored the situation of local Roma in the Czarna Góra district of Poland and also in Europe as a whole. Małgorzata is a recurring participant in conferences, meetings and projects related to Roma communities.
She was highlighted at the 42nd painting biennale Bielska Jesień 2015. In addition, she is the recipient of the American government’s International Visitor Leadership Program scholarship in the category of ‘Promoting Social Good through Arts’.
Dreams and Conflicts – Schindler’s Factory Museum, Cracow
Roma Cultural Day, Andrychów
City Institute for Culture, Cracow
Roma Cultural Day, Andrychów
Roma Cultural Day, Jaslo
Na pomedzi – Polish Institute in Bratislava
Kali Berga – Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin
Kali Berga – Gallery Księgarnia | Wystawa, Fundacja Razem Pamoja, Cracow
Zalikierdo Drom – House of Fine Arts, Warsaw
Solo exhibition, National Theatre, Skopje
Romani Art – Polish Institute, Vilnius
Pany Chłopy Chłopy Pany – BWA Sokół, Nowy Sącz
Galeria Bielska BWA
Romani Museum in Brno, Czech Republic
Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin
Source: the artist, www.roma-center.de/malgorzata-mirga-tas/, www.jawdikh.pl/en/malgorzata-mirga-tas.html