“Danuta uses simple forms, although the picture surface is filled with elaborate decoration where each application of the brush shows a very high degree of understanding for all the nuances of line and colour that a painter has available. She has a number of symbols: birds, leaves and others which play their part in many of the works. You know when you study these paintings that the artist is a thinking person deeply concerned with the world about her and more importantly, she is able to use her entire picture surface to tell the viewer exactly what she thinks. She builds the atmosphere of each work in colour, line, layering and deliberate placing of forms so that every painting shows the artist’s intention with great clarity.”
Jean Goldberg, Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Newsletter, March / April 1995.
“For me what is important is not the final painting in itself but rather the process of making an image; that is, from the initial concept through to its final articulation. I prefer to develop images as part of a series so that I can fully explore specific themes. My paintings evolve slowly over many months and I tend to work on more than one image at a time. I apply paint in numbers of layers and the images often change quite dramatically as I continue to build up the surface. Although my images are based on folklore and other myths, I feel they can be interpreted from a much wider perspective.”
Danuta Michalska, Friends of Mornington Peninsula Arts Centre, Vol. 5 No. 1, Feb / Mar 1995.
“I try to be very positive. ‘I am a happy woman and my pictures are happy, even Ghost Story’ she says and points to a painting of drifting, smiling ghosts which look as scary as a child under a sheet.”
An interview by Cameron Noakes, Northcote Leader, December 4th 1996.
“Beautiful are paintings by the Melbourne artist Danuta Michalska. The paintings which are full of brightly coloured figures, figures entranced in dance, and symbolising the joy for life as discovered in her new homeland. Even though the pictures are characteristically Polish, you can still find in them the presence of Australia, concealed in the layered structure of the paintings. Closer inspection of the paintings reveals that the deepest layer of the pictures consists of a network of diagonally stroked, vibrating lines, similar to those also found in aboriginal bark paintings from Northern Territory.”
Maria Wornska-Friend, “Melbourne na Szkle Malowane, czyli Polska Sztuka Ludowa w Australii”, Tygodnik Polski, 12 Dec 2001. Translated by Jacob Cybulski.
“I like folk art for its simplicity and frankness in expressing one’s feelings. I highly respect such qualities in a person’s life and this is perhaps why the influence of Polish folk art and, sometimes, also of folk art of other countries, is present in my works.”
Danuta Michalska, p 102, in Roses and Red Earth by Maria Wronska-Friend, MacMillan, 2000.
“The subject matter of Danuta’s work includes scenes from her own fairytale world, inhabited by birds, children, mythical creatures, family and friends. Her work is highly lyrical, it is a celebration of life, freedom and love.”
Monica Roszewski and Morfia Grondas, Dancing Between Dreams and Reality, Exhibition Catalogue, Baillieu Library, The University of Melbourne, 14 May – 27 June, 2004.
“Danuta came to Australia in 1985, a highly accomplished professional in many fields, a talented artist who’s individual paintings have given her a special place in the Art World, both overseas and in Australia.”
Dorothy Baker, Artist and Writer, Former President V.A.S.