Debuts: Karolina Szymanowska 


The recurring presentation of the most promising Polish young artists, taking their first steps into the world of design and goldsmithing. This year in the frame of cycle will be presented Antonina Maria Łęcicka, student od Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Łódź and Karolina Szymanowska, student of Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław.



"Soul paradise" was the title of an old Polish prayer book (1513), but today the meaning of this title has changed to a Sultry Paradise. Objects of jewellery are designed to cause a little pain. Drawings of conjoined twins are modelled on archival photographs. I separate them and put them opposite to each other. This story of symmetry, unification, and the need to pursue the ideal is continued in bonsai trees - cherished and cut due to the plan, to become absolutely symmetrical. In the search for beauty, symmetry and order, there are always included: aggression, appropriation and ignoring everything that stands out from canon and rules (M.Lisok). 

 Marta Kudelska 



Karolina Szymanowska’s jewellery contains an element of the 'uncanny' (Unheimlich). Freud interprets it as a situation in which what was repressed by consciousness returns. And what was one of its main elements is becomes peculiar, eluding universal language semantics. The approach to objects is inseparably connected with human sensuality. Perception of things is a result  of the surrounding smells, images, sounds, and textures of the objects. Pleasure or fear resulting from the senses, remain in close relation with the place the objects occupy. Szymanowska gives us a moving pictureimaginarium, fascinating as a fairy tale land of miracles, but at the same time hiding death in their crevices. Her story about the world challenges rationalism. She pulls out from the depths of the history the elaborated jewellery where instead of shiny diamonds shines human hair.

The decorations grow directly from the nineteenth century jewellery, and especially its specific variety called sentimental. An intriguing variation of this type of jewellery is worn in the period of mourning. One of the most beautiful examples of this type of ornaments are those derived from the Victorian era. With the death of Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert in 1861, mourning jewellery came into fashion. One of its core elements were just the hair of the deceased person.





In addition to mourning fashion - inspired decorations Szymanowska also shows other objects which resemble miniature instruments of torture. A pair of earrings with a lens focusing sunlight, white shirt with collar pins poached or resembling barbed wire necklace.


Szymanowska  creates a dependence between two bonsai trees shaping them into twins  and adjusting the growth of one of them to the growth the other.  At the same time she splits pair of Siamese twins, making them two separate characters. Beauty, to exist, must be subjected to public scrutiny. The body has to be kneaded, modelled,  stretched and trimmed here and there to reach social acceptance of its sensuality. The coercive power described by Foucault makes unavoidable modification, alteration, real and symbolic tortures.

Text as a whole appeared in the catalogue of the exhibition cycle "Trivia" implemented in BWA , Katowice. Curator Marta Lisok.






Stay informed, enter your email address and we will notify you of current events.



Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER 2020