Personally, my drawings are a study of how the human body in motion can create highly intense imagery. I am interested in poses that are evocative like sculptures and express a psychological disposition. A body can convey a whole range of human experiences. The challenge with dance is to encapsulate an array of emotions through the poses of a body.
TechniqueDigital and Traditional Pencil Drawing
Dates2013 – 2015
Subjectfigure drawing, portrait, realistic depiction
Exploring Dance in Illustration
My fascination with dance originates from my interest in the human body as an art form and I am especially intrigued in its behaviour whilst in motion. With movement comes the concept of the ‘fugitive’ — subsequently there is an artistic need to develop a way to capture this, or at least an impression of the feeling it evokes and conveys. Dance, like music, is a fleeting form of art unless recorded. I find my challenge is to immortalise its essence within a new medium. In this way, through a more permanent representation, I can enable one to contemplate singular frames that usually gets lost in the flux of dance. Dance as a subject is particularly appealing to me because its performance generates the utmost uplifting experience, not only for the dancer but also for the one who observes them dancing. Furthermore, as a metaphor it represents the struggle to conquer the limitations of one’s body, striving to develop full control over it. Often a body of a dancer is akin to that of an athlete ; owing to the fact that dance requires enormous discipline, training, strength and motivation. Once rigorously mastered, their bodies allow the dancers to express themselves in the most unique and uninhibited forms.
Pandora’s Box was an exhibition of mixed media drawings commissioned by Union 105 | East Street Arts. Karolful continued to develop a new technique of joining digital linear outline with traditional pencil drawing.Inspired by two Greek mythological motifs ; ‘Pandora’s Box’ and ‘The Fates’, this exhibition expands on recent dance installation performance by the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and a collaboration with a video artist Blessing Oyebanji. It encourages one to reflect on human nature and its influence on people’s lives.
In November 2014 Karolful was invited to join TurnAround Dance Theatre in their residency at Yorkshire Dance. They were developing a new piece called “Mirrored Minds”, in which they explored how we use mirror neurons to learn, recognise and empathise with one another.
In January 2015 Karolina produced a series of 4 drawings that were exhibited in The Dukes gallery in Lancaster. These were 30cm by 40cm mixed media pieces that combined digital linear outline with traditional pencil drawing.
Drawing inspiration from Greek Mythology, Karolina explores the motif of Rota Fortunae (Wheel of Fortune). It is a concept representative of the capricious nature of fate and luck and of how within our personal narratives we habitually represent time as a cycle between prosperity and disaster. For the purpose of this exhibition Karolful introduced a new technique which blends a graphite monotype with traditional pencil drawing. These drawings have been produced in collaboration with the dancers Louis Lever and Joe Thomas.
Karolful was invited to participate in a series of three pop-up exhibitions in Manchester, each on one of the Fridays the 13ths in 2015. These exhibitions are inspired by the notions of luck, chance, fate and coincidence. The first two took place in February and March at Rogue Studios and AWOL Studios respectively. These have been curated by Katarzyna Jablonska and the final instalment is scheduled for the 13th of November 2015.
This is a selection from the series of over 20 pencil drawings, 60cm by 80cm, created between 2011 — 2013. These pieces have been exhibited in multiple solo exhibitions in various venues, including Leeds Central Library and Yorkshire Dance.
In 2013 Karolina Szymkiewicz’s artwork was shortlisted for the New Lights exhibition, a bi-annual competition showcasing the best young contemporary artists in the north of England.
On Friday the 20th of September the New Lights exhibition had its private opening at the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate. At this event Karolina’s illustrations were awarded the TIG Prize (The Inter Group) for most outstanding representational work. The Exhibition ran from 21 September until 17 November 2013 at the Mercer Gallery and will be moving on to The Biscuit Factory gallery in Newcastle for January 2014.