Ewelina Skowrońska is a Polish visual artist developing her practice in the fields of images and objects through the use of printmaking, drawings, ceramic, and video animation. Her interests include concepts of body, identities, gender, and psychology of human relations. She seeks inspiration for her artistic practice in everyday experiences, mythology, poetry, speculative narratives and intangible connections of the world.
Ewelina holds an MFA in Political Science. In 2015 she retrained and specialized in visual arts at University of The Arts London where she graduated with distinction. Ewelina's work has been exhibited in London, Ireland, USA, Canada, Poland, and Japan. In 2017, she was awarded the Print Prize by ST Bridge Foundation, and in 2018 she was shortlisted for Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2018. Her prints are in the collection of VA Museum London; Spiral Wacoal Art Foundation, Tokyo, Japan; Guanlan Printmaking Museum, China and many more.
Ewelina is currently based in Japan, where she is an active participant of the Tokyo art scene. She is co-founder of the ONA project room - an initiative that aims to support female artists based in Japan through a series of pop-up style exhibitions.
The female body is at the forefront of my prints and ceramic sculptures, exploring issues connected with gender, identity, sexuality, and the body. I draw from my personal experience touching subjects connected with the experience of living within the body, as well as the way race, gender, and sexuality intersect to form complex identities. As a Polish woman coming from a Catholic country, living in different cultures - now in Japan, before in London and Denmark - I feel the excess of different identities, expectations, histories, cultures, belonging, and separation. On the one side, the body is deeply ingrained with meanings and constraints, but on the other hand, as human beings, we have our own experiences of living within; we see the world from the inside and the outside at the same time.
My work is on the edge of figuration and abstraction. I use printmaking, drawings, ceramics, and recently video animation as a ways to express my subject matters. Through exploration of the fundamentals of color, form, lines and negative space, I focus on ephemeral and unspoken aspects, using a combination of different mediums to produce a unique and powerful contrast. By exploring the interplay between nudity and carnality, I creates images on the edge of the figurative and abstract.
Where are you from? Did you grow up in a creative environment?
I was born in Poland and I grew up in Wrocław, a city that is placed in the south west part of the country, quite close to the border of Germany and Czech Republic. Since Wrocław is quite a big city, I also did my masters there, so most of my youth is connected with that place.
I don't think I grew up in a creative environment in the sense of creative pursuits being part of a conscious decision or passion. However, since I was born during the communist times, people have to be creative to keep going. So, for example, in my house my mother was always making and sewing clothes for us, was knitting sweaters--everything was done DIY. My parents were always making food, baking cakes, etc. So, in that sense, I think I grew up very much in a creative setting.
Who or what has compelled and/or encouraged you to create your art?
I was always eager to make things, to draw, to create costumes for myself, to come up with games for myself. So, I feel that this part was always there. However, when I decided to apply to an art school, my parents were against it and they convinced me to study something else. However, many years later, after being haunted by the thought of creating and making art, I decided to finally do what I always wanted to. So, since then I am staying true to myself and my art.
What is the key topic or issue that your work addresses?
At the moment I am interested in the body and the experience of living within the body. I draw from my personal experience touching subjects connected with the experience of living within the body, as well as the way race, gender, and sexuality intersect to form complex identities.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
I usually seek inspiration in everyday experiences, mythology, poetry, speculative narratives and intangible connections of the world. So, for me, there is never one source of the inspiration. I read a lot, and observe a lot, and then I am trying to forget all this. Otherwise, it seems that work can become too illustrative or too direct.
If you weren’t creating art, what would you be doing?
I would be a healer and tarot reader.