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08 APRIL 2024


Interchanging Prototypes

Bety Krňanská tells on how remembrance of previous misconstrue and the repetition of pattern are linked forces in her work, the irritating absence of sway in a creation, and the concealment an objectification can bring.



Intertwined in a web of modern commentary on female image, so casual as it is derisive, and the feral, unlooked for cosmos a woman learns herself to be as, Bety Krňanská touches upon the threads of a story told by tradition and whisper, of what a woman shall be, all she ever could be, and rips it apart carefully. Beeswax allows separation and the effect of transparency on the canvas, crafting techniques of long gone days strike up memories we had not ready to recall as anew. Working and living in both Athens and Prague, Bety lifts surrounding structure and societal proposition through the method of technological and manual modification upon to a creation of artworks that can show prototypes interchanging between what the eye was told to see, and what sets it free to watch unfold some boundless.


In her interview with Oblo Gallery Magazine the artist considers her ways of creating, the cataclysmic translation of an objection to the abstract image and the role that tradition plays within a digitalized public.


Bety Krňanská showing her works


What does fragmentation do to an image that was tamed to be showing a mere trophy?


The pictures I have been using in my recent paintings were found and downloaded from the online database. Pictures, once taken by real photographers, showing real persons, that are uploaded to the cloud impossible to reach and manipulate again. Girls who once were photographed on these pictures are in the online drawer under the label "sexy girls, posing next to the luxury cars".


The physical fragmentation of the once found and printed picture, deconstructing, cutting them into pieces and putting them back together in a different order by sticking, creates the whole picture into abstract composition, showing parts of the bodies, materials, organically and artificially blending them together into one. The women who once in the online database lost their identity are getting anonymity through the painting.

"Follow" by Bety Krňanská


beeswax, patchwork, dyes, pigment inks, sublimation dyes, glossy anti UV varnish, 2023

150 x 200 cm

from the series Unexpected Encounters

Is tradition surprise’s worst enemy?

Traditions can be surprising in a way, how we are looking at them with fresh eyes. The context of the society is constantly changing but if we look back, we can get inspired in many ways. We can either deny the context in which the things were put or add the contemporary ideas on the past. Also some things from the past, for example those which were closely rooted to the nature and natural cycles, can be inspiration in todays world.


In my work specifically, the tradition is something I was observing through my whole life, and as an idea which would make no sense in todays society. Crocheting and patch-working as a domain of woman, who were mostly staying home, taking care of others and the house itself, and also valued through their manual skills. Me personally, I value the traditional manual work, in the context of machine production, of easily reproductive things.

Prototyping is for me a fundamental part of the process

of materializing an idea.


What goes into your process of choosing material and color?

My sources of inspiration when it comes to selecting materials are mainly tradition, natural elements and technologically manufactured elements. I am selecting materials which are associated with tradition, such as crochets, patchwork and textiles. I also use natural materials such as beeswax, that allow me to keep the watercolors separated from the wax reserve and also gives the transparent effect to the canvas, so the painting is working both sides. The wax batik technique is traditionally used for depicting design and patterns on fabrics and I find the juxtaposition of this technique and the contemporary digital printing technique interesting that I also use in my works.   


Does a prototype ever show up in its representation?

Prototyping is for me a fundamental part of the process of materializing an idea. Of course afterwards the idea develops further, expands and sometimes the initial prototype might be significantly changed. However, somehow it always remains as the supporting basis of the entire artistic journey.

Is motherhood much alike creation of art?

Like when you make art, when you bring a child into this world, you have some ideas and preoccupations but your creation has a life of its own and develops in ways you wouldn’t expect and I find this as one of the most interesting elements of creation.

Take a good look.png

"Take a good look" by Bety Krňanská


patchwork, dye, digital print, rust dye, beeswax on canvas, 2022

28 x 35 cm

from the series Too Hot to Think

Less is less 2.png

"Laid back" by Bety Krňanská


beeswax, inks, pigments, patchwork, digital print, crochet doily, cotton canvas, anti UV varnish, aluminum custom frame, 2023

60 x 95 cm

from the series Unexpected Encounters

Experimenting with old crafting techniques, what realm it makes you tap into?

The realm of tradition aims to bring to peoples' mind the association of textile crafting techniques with the stereotypical female roles of the past, and the way that these concepts evolve through fashion and digital media in our era.








Are remembrance and repetition two different forces?

I think these two forces are linked and coexist. Remembrance and knowledge of previously made mistakes is what sets the basis of avoiding them in the future. In my work, I believe that this concept of repetition shows up through my patterns.

Through the vail of trivial objection to submission, what is a women?


The initial objection to submission is necessary but it's not all about that. Women in order to be complete and independent need to develop a deep understanding of themselves and their needs and this requires time and it is not always linked to our relationships and the reaction to the acts of others. After objecting the submission to something that hurts us, a much more difficult and longer journey starts, that of knowing yourself.


After objecting the submission to something that hurts us,

a much more difficult and longer journey starts,

that of knowing yourself.

"Nothing without intention" by Bety Krňanská


beeswax, marbling, inks, pigments, patchwork, digital print, crochet doily, cotton canvas, anti UV varnish, 2023

50 x 60 cm

from the series Unexpected Encounters

Nothing without intention.png

Is the medium part of the matter?

For me the use of various mediums is the basis of supporting my ideas and narratives. Sometimes it is just a visual attraction toward a certain medium that can resonate with current mood and happens spontaneously. Other times I select my mediums through research and more extensive thought process.

What remains a fount of inspiration to you wherever you go?

I draw inspiration from everyday life in cities I have lived or visited. Unique elements of design or architecture exists in every city and although they are perceived as mundane from the locals, it can be great inspiration for me as a visitor. These unique elements always find a place in my work somehow, while I am spending time in different parts of the world.  For example the metal work patterns I have seen in architecture in Athens; 

this repeated following of a part pattern creates a symbolic shield/barrier ‘'protecting'' the fragile female images in my work. 


Also what is made by hands, is unique, with its imperfections, asymmetry and that makes it human.

Is sensitivity a dangerous thing?

Sensitivity can be overwhelming, but for me it is a necessary element for creation. Although it might appear as dangerous it can be cultivated as a source of strength both artistic, and in our lives. 


What’s more profound when said by the hands?

I see hands as a medium for communication, which can be as powerful as words. Hands can express emotions, statements. Also what is made by hands, is unique, with its imperfections, asymmetry and that makes it human.


Would your artworks ever been read in a wrong way?

I don't believe in a wrong or right way reading art, but if the images in work are perceived in different ways, it also depends on the viewers life experience. 

If the images are considered reproducing stereotypical views than I guess this is far from the ideas which I put in my work.



Is technology the knack of arranging the world so we don’t have to experience it?

It definitely is. It is a way to arrange our realities, and to manipulate the way we are thinking and  processing the world. As humans we have senses which we can also strengthen or numb, and technology is exactly doing that, focusing our attention more on visual and hearing stimulation.


However we need to remain conscious about this effect of technology on our senses and also focus on developing the rest of our sensing for example from experiencing nature which we are inseparable part of. 


All rights of image are reserved to the artist Bety Krňanská herself.

Artworks by Bety Krňanská available on you find here.

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