'The Awakening' exhibition.
Those who have been reading my blog for a while will know that my etc. posts have been going for over a year now, which are my more personal posts that don't really fit into the other categories my blog focuses on. It occurred to me how random these posts actually are without some kind of theme, so today, as a way to weave my personal journey with my blog's topics, I am starting the journal posts, which will consist of more personal updates that are more university/career focused to document my life as an ambitious undergraduate.
I have always loved those in the studio style posts where artists talk about their process and the works they are creating, however, as a creative who works mainly with digital photography and design, I would find it difficult to create those kinds of posts that I love reading. Instead my journal posts will document places I have visited and things I have done that are linked to my journey as a student and professional. This will include exhibitions I have been a part of, like in today's post, different courses and events I have attended and more general posts about current inspirations and thoughts on things like university, interning and of course graduating!
let me know what you think of this style of post and be sure to comment any areas of my university/work life you would like me to talk about!
As part of my studies in the Studio of Applied Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, during my study abroad semester, we were given the theme of the awakening to respond to for a group exhibition that would take place during the spring semester. As the only Erasmus student taking this studio I felt a lot of pressure in regards to this brief, as the other students were given the entire year to work on their projects, and I had about two months to come up with some work to exhibit.
Applied Photography at ASP is a workshop studio focused on teaching experimental, analogue methods of photography which I found really interesting because I have mostly worked with digital photography before. We learnt lots of processes such as cyanotypes and using bichromate gum, and I knew I wanted to use one of these processes to make my piece for the exhibition. In the end I combined a double exposure image created with liquid black and white emulsion in the darkroom with video, to create an animated piece that I am really proud of.
Untitled, 2018, mixed media photograph (liquid light emulsion and digital animation), full HD
The idea I came up with for my project in response to the theme of the awakening was to visually express a change in my psychological and emotional state as a result of moving to a city far away from my home country. I interpreted the theme as an awakening of new psychological experiences that occur as a result of being in a new, unfamiliar, environment.
Exhibiting this self portrait with my classmates is something I am really proud to have done. I am not someone who even posts selfies, so having a huge screen with my face on in the middle of a gallery was a very daunting prospect. However, I am glad that I pushed myself to exhibit this piece because it was very meaningful for me to make, at a time where I was struggling with feeling isolated during the beginning of my Erasmus semester.
On the opening night of the exhibition, various guests came up to me to tell me how much they liked the piece and asked questions about it, which I have never really experienced so much with a piece of my work before. People really wanted to understand its meaning, so I had to be quite open with strangers, which I am definitely not used to being, however I am really grateful to have had people interested in such a personal piece of work, which gave me a new sense of confidence in terms of what I can do with my photography.
Maria, one of my best friends during Erasmus, came with me to the opening night, which really meant a lot. She is Slovak so understands a lot of Polish and was kind enough to help translate some of the talks that went on during the evening. There was an art critic talking through all of the pieces including mine, which was a really funny moment during the evening because Maria was listening to her whilst looking at me and I couldn't understand enough of what she was saying to know her opinion on my work. Turns out she liked it a lot, but Maria kept me in suspense.
Exhibiting my work in my favourite city is something I will treasure. Working alongside Polish speaking students was difficult at times but creating our exhibition together brought us closer, and having the opportunity to work in the studio all day making work was really refreshing and meaningful for me as an artist.