Petra Janda

Petra Janda (née Skořepová) studied at the Tomáš Vaněk Intermedia Studio and at the Tomáš Hlavina Sculpture Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. She is a multimedia artist moving across the spheres of creation and education, always interested in the relations between people and environmental issues, sustainable development of the outer world, and the ways to improve the environment, both external and internal – psychological. She is aware of the interconnectedness of the inner processes and of the influences they bear on the surrounding world. Her site-specific installations or art objects deal with the preservation of natural processes and life. In her work, she expresses ecological concerns not only via protective and predominantly feminine motives, but she also understands them as means of interpersonal communication. Her artistic creation responds to the current life with openness, indeterminacy, subtlety, and mystery, and it relates a story of life including community projects, activism, but also ancient myths, and inner spirituality. She often reacts to the legacy of nature and the landscape of femina,  where the time is a ritualized cycle of the Woman and her life, but which is also simultaneously situated in an extratemporal transcendence.

Safe Space (2022)

“Beyond BEYOND”

MeetFrida Art Space, Hamburg, DE

Curator: Franziska Storch

Artists: Petra Janda (Prague) and Simone Karl (Hamburg), Karima Al-Mukhtarová (Prague) and Adriane Steckhan (Hamburg), Janina Santamarina (Hamburg) and Stephanie Luening (Dresden), Petra Gell (Vienna) and Ursula Susanne Buchart

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Works by six female artists from Hamburg, Dresden, Prague, and Vienna were presented at MeetFrida Art Space in cooperation with Saloon Hamburg, the international network for women in the visual art scene. For “beyond BEYOND” artists from different cities worked together in duos and the results are as diverse as the artistic positions.

"Petra Janda and Simone Karl have already dealt intensively with the status of the female body in society in their previous works. For the exhibition "beyond BEYOND" they are engaging with the topics of safe spaces and the defence against violence. The Prague artist Petra Janda has built a large sculpture in the form of a schematic vulva with an umbilical cord as a symbol of unconditional love. The wire frame wrapped with hay is filigree and the natural material gives the sculpture a soft appearance as well as a spicy scent. It looks like a cocoon and is the starting point for a long line of hay, shifting between umbilical cord and creeper - reaching out of the room and over the railing. The Hamburg artist has constructed a cloth of metal rings to which she has attached tufts of metal threads in such a way that they tilt back and forth between soft organics and sharp spikes for defence. The cold, hard metal as non-organic material is a shield of protection and is also linked to violence as chainmail was used by warriors in earlier times and is used by butchers nowadays.

Petra Janda deals with trauma and ways to overcome it by looking at our relationship to nature. She works with natural materials such as hay, clay, or wood. The symbol of the vulva appears as an expression of unconditional love that mothers feel for their children and as a symbol for a healing process of the inner darkness through the sex and knowledge.

Homage to Feet (2021)

Petra Janda (née Skořepová) and Lucie Králíková
Artrooms Moravany, Moravany nad Váhom, Slovakia

4. 7. – 19. 9. 2021

Curators: Lenka Kukurová, Milan Mikuláštík

Participatory project Homage to feet (Pocta nohám)

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"The authors deal with the topic of walking with respect to care and ceremony. Lucie’s art practice has been involved with walks, journeys, and pilgrimages for a long time, she also arrived at the exhibition in Moravany, Slovakia on foot all the way from the Czech Republic. Petra uses walking as a source of inspiration, mental hygiene, and as ritual during her creation. Presently, her art deals with the themes of motherhood, fertility, care, and healing. Both authors understand walking as an aspect of self-development, spiritual growth, and perception of the surrounding world. Walking is somewhat paradoxically also seen as a means of stopping and taking a pause in today’s overtechnologized and accelerated reality. When people walk in nature, they feel it and see it, they can no longer be indifferent to its condition. It becomes a home once again, not only an interspace, which one needs to overcome. It means a return to the roots, to the natural state of being, and standing on one's own feet, which leads one to develop a feeling of responsibility for the world. A walk is an important moment of ecological awareness and progress. The participatory part of the project consisted of a collective walk, reciprocal foot washing, wax casting of foot-shaped sacrificial objects and their burning at the vernissage."

Written by: Lenka Kukurová a Petra Janda

Harvest (2020)

Studio Alta
Curator: David Bláha

The art of Petra Janda (née Skořepová) is inherently connected to her personal relationship with nature, landscape, and the environment that we live in. The theme of a harvest can be found in various contexts and meanings in her latest works, which she tailored especially for the space of Prague Invalidovna. We reap not only what we sow, but also what others sow before us.

Jiří Kovanda, whom Petra Janda invited to participate in the exhibition as a guest, reacts to her displayed artworks, the space of Invalidovna, and to the topic of a harvest itself in his distinctive way (seemingly simple, yet rich with ideas). Kovanda, one of the most important contemporary Czech artists, often works with ordinary things and materials – ones that are used, discarded or so commonplace that they, in a sense, become invisible.

A sensitive and attentive approach to another person, to the environment we live in, and to things that are around us is what connects both artists, and in what they mutually enrich each other and introduce each other to new and unexplored situations in joint creation.

Written by: David Bláha

Interspaces (2020)

Sýpka Gallery, Klenová, Czech republic

Artdialog Symposium – Interspaces 2020

"The interspace between daylight and darkness

I was always afraid of autumn and winter, my anxieties got worse. Leaves fall and one sees deeply. The theme of welcoming the other, gloomy part of the year, an intense topic.

This year, for the first time in my life, I carried out a ritual that I have intuitively longed for since early childhood. Something that creates a divide and prepares me mentally for the change of seasons, the arrival of darkness. That, which does not exist in our society.

At the same time, this became a transitional ritual into a fully realized womanhood. I am getting ready for motherhood.

I’m no longer afraid."

Morphology (2020)

Kabinet T. Gallery

At the exhibition titled Morphology, Petra Janda (Skořepová) dealt with the question of dark feminine energy, which could also be healing. Inspired by the vegetation of the Zlín region landscape, she created a large paper relief.

"Eve is a part of me, as well as a part of you. The first woman, temptation and condemnation. This relief is inspired by Eve – my mother, mother of my mother, and my father’s mother.

In terms of flora, it’s the deadly nightshade – Atropa Belladonna, “the witches’ strawberry,” a beautiful girl that beguiles into darkness and death. It is the bridge to the other side, which also leads to progress and growth. It is the Eve in us, Eve who tempts us to suffer, but also the one who leads the way towards knowledge – knowledge of ourselves, of darkness and sorrow that bears life. It is dedicated to all who were able to transform trauma into a new life and love."

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Written by: Iva Mladičová:

"Employing the morphology metaphor, the exhibition deals with the mutual permeability and transformability of plant, bodily and abstract shapes. It does not refer to ideal forms but finds stimuli in the living, which is creatively surpassed by the authors trying to interpret the given shape or situation. In terms of artistic expression, the exhibited collection is on the one hand oriented towards a surrealist approach, and on the other hand, it leans toward a conceptual one. The sphere of flora, fauna, and civilization. Vegetative, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic. Seemingly sharply defined categories are inseparably connected. Not only in the way of ecology – that is relational – but also in looking at the external morphological similarities. This opens a liminal space that is also a place of interactive mutuality."

Curator: Iva Mladičová


The Last Drop (2020)

ART SAFARI 35: Hydrant

27.–28. June 2020

Curator: Daniela Kramerová

In her installation “The Last Drop” for the group exhibition, Petra Janda (Skořepová) problematizes the relation between water and industrialized agriculture.

At Home (2019)

In her master’s thesis project titled At Home, Petra Skořepová (now Janda) elaborated on the theme of a home on both personal – psychological, and global levels. She expressed the necessity of listening to the natural processes and the need for cooperation and interspecies consideration.

As a part of the At Home series, the author created an installation consisting of glass flowers, paper relief of the garden of her childhood home, its germinated mould, audio recording of water being absorbed into the mould, paper reliefs of vegetables, project (the first database of environmental art in Czechia) and its projection onto the glass installation.

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The paper relief was hung above its mould in which some plants germinated during the process of creation of the artwork and the mould thus became its own garden. In this process, the author observed the inherent human tendency to violently influence natural processes and the thin line between cultivation and abuse.

The introduction of the web platform Artbiom was a part of Petra’s diploma thesis. Every visitor could search through the database online and thus influence what is being projected onto the glass installation. Everyone who entered the room passed through a flickering beam of the projection light. The installation was accompanied by the sound of a recording of water being absorbed into the mould with the plants. The visitors were thus offered a complex experience on many levels – conscious and subconscious. The author thus dealt with the theme of fragility and transience, which is also why she installed the glass objects on the ground.

The topic of quieting and inner listening to both psychological and natural processes is a motive pervading all of the author’s creations.

The text accompanying the installation:

"I annoy everyone by fragility and beauty. Great.
That’s the proverbial prickle in art, that you keep looking for.
You can’t destroy it, you can’t disfigure it, it is fragile, delicate, and beautiful. It will stay here, and it will irritate you.
If you kill it, you die. Brittle like the ecosystem.
Learn to watch what you step on and what is dying.

Love, Petra."

The website of the final year master’s students 2019:

Nine Things (2017)

We talk about things.
Not about personalities.
We prefer talking about things.
They press themselves against the wall and the floor, against each other.
That allures us. It’s so transparent.
How they stand about, if they stand the test.
Personalities hide.
They’re often conceited.
They claim emotions, demand admiration, compare themselves against each other.
They fail.
We don’t play with personalities.
They push us aside.
We do with things.
Give them dimensions.
Make them alive.
Things don’t compare themselves.
They come to the foreground.
Get in the way.
Again and again, they get in the way.
And personalities envy them.
They stand in front of them, bypass them, turn their back to them, and leave.

Tomáš Vaněk, Jiří Skála and Jiří Kovanda have chosen three things from the Intermedia Studio III at Academy of Fine Arts in Prague each:

hiding – a thingby Tomáš Kajánek
caressing – a thing by Petra Skořepová
talking – a thing by Tereza Darmovzalová
threatening – a thing by Kateřina Konvalinová
missing – a thing by Lucie Fryčová
adjusting – a thing by Ondřej Doskočil
decomposition – a thing by David Bůžek
running – a thing by Zuzana Jírová
moistening – a thing by Marek Šefrna

Nucleus (2017)

Recycled paper pulp, discarded silicone, aluminium, plaster.

Vegetables, structures, fractals, the universe. Sincere fascination with ordinariness that contains the whole existence – a pattern which forms clouds, mountains, rivers and oceans, solar systems and galaxies.

Do you grow it, eat it or throw it into the bin? You don’t care. Aluminium will preserve it for a while before it rots away before we remember. 

Despite the potential triviality, I decided to capture something so ephemeral and ordinary. To track fascination and sense and to explore the possibilities and regularities of the universe via the fractals of a cauliflower. The chance of capture, eternity, meaning, and feeling of transience, the sculpture of a nucleus of the universe.

Distort by Love (2016)

Clay objects, video (46:55 min)

"I explored caresses and embraces, the movements of love.

I observed the boundaries between tenderness and destruction, and the emergence of influencing and distorting reality via tenderness and goodwill."

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