In September 2016, Barbara Gorayska, Steve Hay, and Simon Murison-Bowie travelled from Oxford in United Kingdom to Łódź in Poland with a unique, purpose and venue modifiable, ‘art event’. Calling themselves the ‘Oxford Triptych’, they had defined a show that integrated exhibition and performance designed to encourage visitors to seek answers to fundamental questions such as ‘What is a painting?’ or ‘What does a painting mean?’
The artists had worked together in their own complementary media: painting, performance and photography, to offer several perspectives on these questions. Central to their approach was the idea that everyone will construct their own reality when drawn into an enquiring relationship with the exhibits, theatrical performance, or optical effects of augmented realities. The event was designed to begin a process by which the viewers would find new ways of creating value in art for themselves and others around them, and new ways of seeing how art can contribute to a deeper understanding of oneself. The main area of interest was the role and personal responsibilities of the viewer as a co-facilitator.
The art event attracted patronage of the President of Łódź City Council (Honorary), the Academic Centre for Artistic Initiatives AOIA, the Łódź Jest Kulturą Foundation, the Plaster Łódzki Foundation, Oxford University Professor Marina Jirotka – principal investigator of the Digital Wildfire projects, the Arts at the Oxford Fire Station, and the I-Ex Firm. AIOA provided a generous venue that the Oxford Triptych reconfigured using specially made partitions to form ‘rooms’ that cross-referenced art exhibits. And the big questions became: ‘What is a painting to me?’ ‘What does a painting mean to me?’ ‘Can art change the way I live my life?’