An exhibition called naOmaK II presents creative work of visual artist Michal Hanula during the last two years. We know him from the ÚĽUV circles for his wire work. The exhibition presents interior accessories and utility objects/dining items from wood.
The title of the exhibition, NaOmak (For touching), explains the nature of the artworks - they are not only for seeing, but for other senses, too. They kindle the atmosphere of intimacy and provoke a personal relation between an artwork and a user. An important fact is that Michal´s work does not need to be promoted by a museum which usually plays an important role in the art trade.
Wood is a material which is an integral part of Slovakia. Many designers, artists and craftspeople have worked with wood. However, the work Michal Hanula does can hardly be compared to work of anybody else. He produces top standard work which is partly a result of his educational background as a designer and his personal experience with the material. He prefers touching a tool and seeing an item growing into its final appearance. He believes in trying to understand a material and rejects violating wood by which he saves time he needs for realising the purpose of work. As he says – one must go into wood, collect and search. An atmosphere produced by searching for a suitable material leads to searching the right way of processing such material. Choosing from traditional and modern techniques, which he transforms according to his creative purposes, is an important phase of the process. Wet wood turning is a technique worth to mention. Coincidence, partly regulated, may influence the process. Very thin walls of items may distort or collapse during drying which, at the end, makes the wood to appear as not being processed by turning.
His creative activity links applied arts, design and art which helps him to perceive his objects in a similar way. They can be used as bowls, hats, decorative objects or presents. Multi-purpose character of his objects allows consumers to do experiments with them and transform them according to their wishes. Craft as an old activity is not an obstacle, it helps to adjust a specific artwork to a specific user and is an alternative to conceptual trends. Michal Hanula uses his creative potential to work with a currently popular theme – use of waste. His latest project TREE BRANCHES involves working with waste after wood exploitation and transforming it into products with many functions. He works with real waste, not with the waste produced to create his artworks. The collection of such products uses standard business elements which makes it to be good for mass production. Mass production of such products is important to utilise waste material.
Unlike mass production, abnormalities of materials (warts – wood over a tree stump, tubers at roots) can be used to create unique products. Craft wins over design in some of his products (hats), it is otherwise in other products (vemienka, chimneys).
The exhibition displays several ways of working with wood and with metal and plastic as auxiliary materials. We understand that people like the appearance of wood. However, wood has a potential to be interesting for other senses. Michal Hanula is well aware of this fact. Therefore, he has named the exhibition naOmaK (For touching).
Peter Šugár