HIRUNDO by Haniko

Location: Rugógyár Gallery



If no fundamental change occurs soon the swallows may totally disappear from Hungary. As a result of the overall agro-industrial impact on natural habitats, climate change and their nests being continually beaten down, the swallows don’t feel like staying that much with us any longer, which may lead to unforeseeable and dire consequences—given that, for instance, they can provide biological protection against diseases spread by bugs.
Herbert Aniko aka Haniko visual artist draws attention to this serious problem with her latest series called Hirundo.

‘’Humans have always regarded themselves as superior creatures which may be truer today than ever. Because of our environment, our ideals, our emotions and our fears: we want to control everything. The swallows that have been living with us for millennia serve as a perfect symbol for the delusions of mankind today. The swallows spoil the beautiful, white insta-friendly houses with their droppings and they are loud too. They are not welcome anymore. Despite all this they still follow humans, though. And so, hereby I take sides with them and turn presently into a swallow-girl’’—says Haniko.

All of Aniko's projects are based on thorough research preceding them, given that, besides the proper artistic reinterpretation, a proper conception and knowledge of the necessary background information is always a crucial element of her aesthetics. Plenty of newspaper and scientific articles as well as swallow-related folklore and poems have been consulted and perused for the Hirundo project too which, perhaps, was most significantly influenced by Zoltán Dér's book titled Fecskelány [swallow girl]. This is a book in which the readers can learn (through Kosztolányi's letters and Lányi's diary) about Dezső Kosztolányi's and Hedvig Lányi's secret love story.
''... I toss sorrow to the ground and - I dream of you. I dream as I usually do when I am alone. I go boating with you on seas, on far away, golden, foreign seas. And you are there with me everywhere. In Italy, in Paris, in the snow-capped mountains, in the dark olive-scented valleys. But who are you that you are so ethereal? So ethereal and slim like the swallow. You swallow girl! You, you swallow-souled, swallow-light, flittingly flying girl, in the blue skies and the blue waters, you twittering bird! You me!! You poetess, you goddess, you all!!!'' - writes Kosztolányi.
All of this taken together, in combination with Aniko's swallow-compositions, gave birth to the emblematic line of the present series:

She is living an alternate life on Tuesdays. On these days a wave-grave houses her freedom; silent fish-solitude. Then she releases the silk of her crushed memories to the wind. Buries it in a garden in the sky. The swallow-girl.
Lili Farkas- Zentai

Herbert Aniko aka HANIKO creates large-size watercolor paintings, paper installations, and video art. She says that it was paper that chose her and not the other way around. ''Paper is rather sensitive material, there are many types of papers, which we can sense by simply using our fingers. Also, as a material, it can endure quite a lot. Paper requires patience and care. It is beautiful in itself as well. There are many possibilities in this material, just like in us.'' In her works, Haniko primarily reflects on social problems and issues that interest her. Besides this, she also actively engages contemporary literature - certain books, as it were, discover her: whose stories then incarnate on the clean surface of the paper in the form of flowing water-colors or in assembled pieces. . .​