A POLISH artist pays tribute to South Tyneside, which is now his home, in his first UK exhibition.
Robert Andler-Lipski’s creations are on display at Bede’s World in Jarrow.
The exhibit, called Complicated Simplicity, opened at the Church Bank venue on Friday.
Robert, a resident of South Shields since 2004, said: “This is my first solo exhibition in the UK, but, more importantly to me, my first exhibition in South Tyneside, where I have lived for 10 years.
“I used to work as an artist and graphic designer in Poland and Italy as well as the UK, but after an unfortunate incident, I lost all my artworks in a fire.
“I suspended my artistic career, and emigrated from Poland for good.
“This exhibition is my own, very deep, very private tribute to South Tyneside and for my own art, because after years, this place makes me more conscious, more open.
“South Shields gave me a chance to be myself, to be an artist. It was like an awakening. It was a very important day in my life, which is why Complicated Simplicity is a tribute.
“South Shields is my place on earth. I have chosen this place because it has a soul and makes me very creative.
“I cannot imagine living in another place or doing something different.
“South Tyneside is me. I have a lot of important things in my life, but my art is me completely, absolutely. It is difficult to explain in normal words, but this is a oneness.
“If asked about myself and my influences, for the first time in my life, I can tell everyone South Shields is my place. I can say it loud and proud.
“This exhibition is complicated because of the difficult way I have passed. It is simplicity as I have found something simply to make me feel I belong and complete.”
Mike Benson, director of Bede’s World, said: “We are really excited to have Robert’s exhibition here.
“He has captured the atmosphere of what we are and our mission to be a social space.
“It was a great day when we encountered Robert. It was serendipity that he came into Bede’s World and he was engaged by the place and by Bede.
“He talked to us about how he has lived all over the world, but that it is South Tyneside that has captured him, and he has put down roots here.
“It is a turning point for Hive Studios here at Bede’s World, enabling us to work with international artists.
“This exhibition is the beginning of a contemporary arts programme this year that will also include dance and ceramics.”