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Klara Taussig-Cecmanova

Artist, teacher, wife and mother of two beautiful boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Klara Cecmanova’s art is most inspired by her work as a teacher and her experience as a mother of two boys with a fatal genetic disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy. So often when she works with a new group of children, adults, or the elderly, she is struck by the extent of their fear. But what are we going to draw? What colour should we use? Who or what should be our inspiration? When will the work be complete?

Cecmanova always stresses to her students that it simply doesn’t matter, there is no right or wrong way to create, and the most important thing they can do is simply pick up a brush or pencil and join her in an exploration of themselves, and the world around them. Most importantly, they must be fully present when they create, immersed in the innocence, pain and actuality of life.

Cecmanova, in her own art, also works from the inside out, exploring her inner world and its relationship to the outer world, her self-portraiture at times peaceful, and at others, troubled. Using mixed media, she portrays herself as she is, how she feels, at any given moment. She is not interested in conceptual thought but rather instinctual feeling, extending this approach to how she practices also, shunning formal technique in favour of free expression. This process of creation enables her to express her essence, and her reality, more fully and profoundly.

Born in Communist Czechslovakia, Cecmanova was drawn to art at a very early age, attending classes from the age of five. She went on to attend fashion school, studying sewing, design, pattern-cutting, textiles, drawing skills, and the use of colour and media. Then her work as a fashion model took over, and for a number of years she was on the move, travelling extensively, working across Europe and Asia.

In 2003, Cecmanova made the decision to leave the fashion world and return to art, studying extensively at Sir John Cass University, Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design, Mary Ward Centre and Morley College across a wide range of artistic skills and disciplines including: drawing (in particular life drawing), painting, sculpture, collage, design, print/jewelry/felt making, machine-knitting, and art history.

My Duchenne Boys

Theo was not just developing slowly but was very ill, carrying a fatal genetic illness which would cause his muscles to waste away and kill him before he becomes a man. The pediatrician reassured us that this moment, the diagnosis, is the worst part, but stressed it would get easier as the days, weeks and months went by. But how could it? I thought.
29/09/2014 00:51 BST