30 Minutes Before Midnight is the solo exhibition by the Polish artist Paulina Olowska, which has been inspired by her research on the restrictive stereotypes that underpin the image of women in art history. Olowska tries to portray femininity in various forms. Her visual language asserts and redefines the ability of women to stare in paintings, coding each piece with symbols and narrative clues to encourage the physical and psychological existence of her subject.
Olowska has created a series of works depicting the muses and heroines in different scenes at different times of day and night. The title of the show hints at John Berendt’s novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and the subsequent film adaptation. Based on the bad omen of midnight, the passage of time in books and movies defines the period of good magic-thirty minutes before midnight-and the period of bad magic-thirty minutes after midnight. Olowska expanded this concept of time and day-night alternation into a visual and narrative approach, placing the subject of her portrait in context. The colours and the time of day they indicate-strengthen the audience’s initial contact with the Olowska protagonist. The works in the exhibition range from soft tones to vibrant tones, and fluctuate with mood from day to night throughout the exhibition.