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When I saw a public call for stallholders at #TransActing: A Market of Values by Critical Practice, I thought it looked like a very unusual event. It wasn’t an art fair, nor an exhibition, it wasn’t a normal market either. A new concept of re-evaluating, transacting, exchanging, and giving sounded like something I’d love to engage with.
You can read about the thrill of being chosen to participate at TransActing in my previous blog here.
I’d like to say a big thank you to Joey O’Gorman, Research Affiliate, MA Art and Science at CSM, UAL. Joey introduced me to a social scientist, geographer Richard Bater with whom I collaborated during the #TransActing: A Market of Values event. Richard’s work focuses on (as he described it) “research and the intersection of scientific (watery) knowledge and artistic interventions, so he very much approaches water less from a natural scientific perspective than from a shape-shifting transdisciplinarian one (undergirded by anthropology)”. Compared to Richard’s, my interest lies in rivers and water more from an angle of sculpting, art, and physical geography. I find movements of sediments, fluvial forms and processes inspiring and fascinating. I look at them as a metaphor to artist sculpting, building objects. (Question of conscious sculpting and process comes up at this point).
Our stall named The Rivers Project was painted white and The Flowing Roots sculpture grew right through it. The aim for this one-day collaboration between Richard and I was to create discussions about rivers, water, and ecology. We traded water for words into our Water Word Harvest. We asked two questions. What does water mean to you? Do you have your own nature, a place where you go to relax outdoors? Thank you to all people who engaged with our stall! Thank you for the debates and chats. They were indeed very inspiring, interesting, and useful.
What’s next for The Rivers Projects? Richard and I will work together again and I’m beginning to write a dissertation, which will be drip-fed by the Water Word Harvest, critical thinking, evaluation, and partly by amazing River Thames cartoons by John Leech (1817–1864), who was an English caricaturist and illustrator. Check out this amazing piece on Wikipedia.
I have one regret looking back at the event. 60+ amazing stallholders had lots to offer and engage with. We were in our water-bubble all day and didn’t have enough time to speak to all the others. Just look at the variety of projects on the day here.
TransActing happened on Saturday July 11, 2015, 12 – 5 pm, at Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground, located between Tate Britain and Chelsea College of Arts. Thank you to Critical Practice, who organized it! Check out this photo to see the stalls on the day from high above.
Thank you very much for taking time to read today’s post. I’m writing this blog post to tell you about my recent experience near by a river during my holidays back in Poprad, Slovakia.This river is significant to me, as I’m working on a long-term project, kind of a case study about it. The end product will be a sculpture, but meanwhile, I’m researching and putting together some data (supported by Slovensky vodohospodarsky podnik), including making some practical experiments on site, directly with the river. The Poprad River is 142.5 km long and its spring (1494.3 metres AMSL) is considered to be nearby Popradske pleso (Poprad Mountain Lake) in The High Tatras Mountains. It merges into Dunajec River in Poland where its journey as an independent river ends, however Dunajec River has a trip to complete up north to the Baltic Sea. I was born in Poprad, where this river has been a normality to all of us, and often I’d taken the river for granted or simply I hadn’t given much thought about it. Until 13th February, 2014, when I heard of some terrible news*. Allegedly, seven kilometres of the river, starting near by the industrial town Matejovce, was poisoned by 20 times more than allowed dose of cyanide substance. I learned from the online news articles, that all life including plants were devastated and unable to renew their natural ecosystem for at least next 5 years to come! This careless human behaviour made me very upset and angry. Hence my renewed interest in the river. (Nevertheless this wasn’t a random interest in water themed subjects, I’d done a whole series of Mountain Lake Drawings last year.) So far I’d done a set of abalone mother of pearl drawings, wire models of the river, I’ve researched the flow and altitude of it, but finally directly reunited with the river, I was able to record the sounds of the stream at various points in Poprad-Zapad. My lovely helper Tatiana and I were walking along stopping to observe and note down interesting areas where the river sounded particularly pleasant, making sure the sound wasn’t too strong due to small water falls and so on. The plan is to combine the physicality of the sculpture (about which you’ll find out about in the near future) with the sound effects from the recordings. Here is one example of a recording on SoundCloud to feed your imagination. (Please adjust your sound levels if necessary.) If you have any feedback, and you’d like to comment on this or other posts on my blog, you can easily do so at the end of the articles. I look forward to hearing from you, as ever. I’m going to work on the sculpture itself in the coming weeks and the plan is to have some substantial works done by the end of March. What are you working on? Perhaps you have similar interests or are a scientist working in potamology? Let yourself known. Keep in touch. I’m keen to collaborate, especially now during my MA Art and Science at CSM, London. Yours, Silvia * some of the online news links in Slovak I found about the poisoning: http://spravy.pravda.sk/domace/clanok/309986-kyanid-zabil-rieku-ako-poziar-les/ http://www.ekoton.sk/rieku-poprad-znecistil-pravdepodobne-kyanid/
Hello dear followers. This post is from the series of self reflecting and informative posts about my practice and inspirations. Every-now-and-then, I think about how I am as an artists, what has changed and as well as for me but also for my audience, I write down my thoughts. I’ve written about my love of nature and organics in the previous post in this series, Sharing the transition – My love of textures and making is stronger than ever. Today, I’m going to write about my new jewellery brand KAJ – Krupinska Abalone Jewellery.
My creative practice has expanded, when I realized how much I enjoyed making the abalone pendants. I had this kind of material from previous experiments in organic sculpture and drawing. I wrote about it during my residency in March 2013 with Unit 3 Projects artists in DegreeArt in Vyner Street, London. The article is explaining where my ideas at the time came from, about the ethics of my materials and about inspirations for my Mountain Lakes series. The artworks described in the article were also exhibited after the residency in DegreeArt Gallery with 8 other Unit 3 Projects artists’ works, but further on (expanded) in my solo exhibition in Oct. 2013 – Plesa a Fragmenty in Poprad, Slovakia, supported by LivePozitive os.
I have branded my art practice as Organic Sculpture and Art, and KAJ is a more design lead streak in this direction, with also originals and limited editions, but more accessible to anyone wishing to have a piece of organic sculpture, in wearable form. I named KAJ inspired partly on my name and abalone, and partly inspired by a story I used to listen to on the radio or LP, The Snow Queen by H. Ch. Andersen. The boy whose name I admired was called Kaj, the best friend of Gerda. (Listen in Slovak to the story here.) Now I have over 32 KAJ pieces of jewellery listed in my online store krupinskart, along with 20+ of my organic sculptures, prints and other art. (Some works are only available directly from my studio, not listed anywhere. Enquire within.)
I was a bit worried at the beginning I started to make KAJ that it would affect my art and how people would see my artworks, whether I should totally separate it from my art. But now I feel good about it, and my worries are gone, as I feel it made me stronger in my art practice. I’m honest to what I like to make and stand for, and I no longer worry that it will be distracting to me and my audience. I’ve had some great feedback from my collectors of KAJ and collectors of my art and I feel encouraged by it. After my limited edition of 50 abalone pendants if finished, I’m planning to introduce another fairy-tale inspired name of GERDA pieces. But that’s a bit ahead of us, and you’ll here about it later.
Finally I’d like to thank you for learning about my art and following my blog, and if you have anything to say about how you feel I present my work, how I talk and write about it or any feedback you might have, good or bad, I’m happy to read any constructive criticism. I’m aware I’ve plenty to learn, and become better practitioner. Enjoy the spring and lots of love.
It’s the time to look at my art practice and rewrite my artist statement. But firstly, very freely, I’d like to share free-handedly this flow of words and ideas with you, my followers. Don’t worry. There won’t be any massive changes. As I grow and learn I gradually realize that the textures I have been relying on and all I love doing, whether it’s sculpting, drawing or even making the KAJ jewellery, all those actions are headed towards one direction. Fully or partially touching on the themes of nature and ecology, geography and history, broadly speaking. My love of textures and making is stronger than ever. I am aware of certain needs I have (not talking of the finance), something that the making alone isn’t covering. I want to stay neutral and non-judgemental in the concepts I use in my art practice, but at the same time mapping out, bringing to attention, describing how I see events, things and our surroundings. Simply bringing these certain issues to visual forms and formats to my audience, presented and translated to my own artistic language – organic sculpture, painting and drawing. Nature and natural forms have always interested me. I want to bring you the issues I care about and I want to make you understand where I (ideologically and geographically) come from.
I need to come out of the ‘cloud’ and be more specific what I’m trying to say. I can do that using a strong example of what happened to me a couple of weeks ago. To be precise, nothing happened to me, but I read a news article about one river that is special to me. River Poprad, in the town (Poprad, Slovakia) where I was born. As if a member of my family died, I read the story with tears in my eyes. The River Poprad was let down. We as its carers and community, we let it down. It had been poisoned! Cyanide penetrated the river and killed all alive in it including some vegetation running along vast 5-7 km. It will take at least 5 years for the river to ‘come back’ to its normality, I’ve learnt from the internet. The poison appeared in the river in the industrial Matejovce near Poprad all the way to and a bit beyond Kezmarok. This incident/crime is one of the reasons why I’m consciously going to focus, zoom in and explore effects of mankind on the planet. I now make the themes of water (lakes, rivers, sea and its shores, ice) as my main source of inspiration.
I’m planning and developing an important solo exhibition in the Slovak Embassy in London for the next year (April 2015). I’m writing this unofficially, I need to secure the finance and pin down my sponsors and grants first. The theme of the show will be ‘Water’ – the essence of life and wellbeing. As these large projects come, I feel this need to pull my ideas, myself together. Hence maybe the focus in my art has been shifting from only making, enjoying and sharing my creations to also adding stronger conceptual message to them – with the ecological undertone.
I think these four paragraphs are enough. I hope I clarified my intentions and aims for the future, if not fully than at least partly and I sincerely believe that the coming years are going to be the best so far! On this optimistic note I end my blog post. I can’t thank you enough for reading it and supporting me and my artistic practice by visiting my blog. I need lots more time to think, I need lots more advice to become a better artist I’m today. I would love any feedback, advice you might want to give me. If you feel you would like to support me and my upcoming exhibition in April 2015 (when I turn 35 oh gosh!) then please don’t hesitate to contact me or even have a look at my online store, where I offer some small to medium artworks and KAJ jewellery, or make an appointment to visit my studio to see the works in person. I’d be ever so grateful.
Last Sunday the weather forecast promised to stay sunny, so we took this opportunity to visit another part of the UK – Suffolk, where I’d never been. We drove to a little village called Covehithe, which has a stunning nature and unique surroundings. Over 100 species of birds live in the Benacre Natural Reserve, which is near by. What I find fascinating about this area, is the fact how crumbly the coast is. The clay, sand and the stones in the cliffs there seem ‘puff pastry layered’ and ever changing. Salinity and the sea hitting the cliffs takes away part of England each time the tide is up high and the sea gets rough. As much as 4.5 metres each year fall down in these conditions, I read on Wikipedia. The thought, that one day, this would be gone, transformed and changed forever is puzzling. Even the fresh water pools and broads near by, such as Covehithe and Benacre Broads, would become salty and the local animal habitat would be pushed away, eaten by the sea! Whether this happens due to the raising sea levels, melting of glaciers, or simply because the land and the soil has these ‘feather fragile’ qualities, and was always going to fall down, this is a sad story. I’m on the other hand curious to see what happens in the next 5 years, and I’m planning to revisit the sight.
I created two new artworks, commissioned for a Winter Show (December 1st – December 24th 2013) at Bank Eye Art Centre, all inspired by the Benacre Natural Reserve. The diptych is part I of the story of this coast, and my mapping of it with abalone mother of pearl will continue in 5 years, when I plan (if not earlier) to re-visit it, and document the sad progress of fall. On the images, you can see two broads we walked around, Covehithe and Benacre Broad. The line in each image represents the near by coast-line, which is ever dangerously moving in!
I leave this post open to comments and discussion. Do you know of an area similar to this? Are you thinking about a similar issue? Let me know, lets talk about it, educate ourselves and each other. The nature needs us, but not more than we need her!
Until next time, good bye! Thanks for reading.
I can’t wait to show my art in Slovakia for the first time, since I moved in London nearly fifteen years ago! I’m doing an exhibition, hopefully one of many to come there, where it all began, where I grew up and my ideas, ideologies and sensibilities began to form. All of this influenced by my amazing family and friends, but also the nature. Having a natural reserve round the corner helped, I guess!? The mountains and meadows I knew so intimately, stayed with me.
The shape of The High Tatras Mountains is captivating and very powerful image. I still see it in my mind so vividly; remembering looking outside of the window. I’m sure that this has influenced me so much, I’ve became a sculptor! I feel it in my bones. Painting itself was no longer enough… I need to create a kind of mass and texture, variation of surfaces and objects; hence I found sculpting more fulfilling. It is my inner artistic need.
And you know what they say? …
You can take the girl out of the mountains, but you can’t take the mountains out of the girl!
Please join me if you can at Foyer Domu Kultúry (Culture House), Štefánikova 99/72, 058 01 Poprad – for my show Mountain Lakes and Fragments from 8. – 15. October 2013, during XXI. International Mountain Film Festival. You can read more as the articles are pouring in (aren’t I lucky and happy!), on Livepozitive website, i-Lemon.sk and others. This exhibition is supported and organized by Livepozitive O.N. What a lovely bunch of people, without whom this wouldn’t be possible. I’d like to thank Livepozitive wholeheartedly, and I’m so looking forward to being in Poprad for my exhibition! Bring it on.
What am I going to show in Plesa a Fragmenty show? You can see a variation of art works in four series. They are paintings Homage to Lichens, The Mountain Lakes Series, Installation with Organic Sculptures, and my début set of photographic works, editioned C-type prints – Ria Formosa in Empty Quarter Desert I & II.
I’ll be tweeting (@silviakrupinska) and putting some images from the exhibition on Facebook too. Follow the show on #PlesaFragmenty. Thank you for reading. You are great, getting down all the way to the bottom of the post. Whoop, whoop!
Hello from a sunny London! I thought my blog posts have become more frequent lately, if you’re a subscriber sorry if your inbox is receiving too many updates. To my defence, this is my season..creative season. And when I’m rolling, I’m unstoppable! Just kidding. I’ve decided to use this single post for updates on my ‘Origins’ project at Unit 3 Projects. I’ll add photos and text to it, as it develops. I won’t create new single posts on the same theme of ‘Origins’ but I’ll just add on to this one, that way you’re spared emails …saying that, do come back to keep track and see new ideas and you’re more than welcome to visit me in the space (email first silviakrupinska at gmail.com) or at the event on 23 May! Facebook event link. Before I forget, Thank you to ASC for putting my event on their website! Now there is a statement I’ve written about my inspirations behind Origins, click here to read it.
Origins Day 1 outdoors: 1 May 2013
I did a photo shoot with my organic sculpture ‘Farol’ in Epping Forest. The sculpture is one of the larger ones in the series, I was curious to see it outdoors. And then, this dog found it very puzzling to discover it…check it out!
Origins Day 1 indoors: 1 May 2013
Discovering light and dark of the Unit 3 Projects space in this 55 second video.
Origins Day 7 indoors: 7 May 2013
I’ve some good news to report. I’ve secured a sponsor for Origins! Thanks to Jim’ll Mix It company I’ll have a hill of sand for my installation at Unit 3 Projects. I’m so excited as I always wanted to fulfil this idea…I’ll bring you some images from the process, as it develops.
14 May, sand in day! Never worked so hard in my life!
(Need to work even harder to bring all the sand out soon! Helpers welcomed)
Happy to announce I’ve another sponsor for the event. Local company The Nut House will supply their fresh cakes, dried fruit and nuts. Thank you!
17 May 2013 – 6 days to the event
130 metres of ribbon is ready to be hanged for my ‘May Installation’ on Wednesday in Empson Street. You can’t miss it on Thursday on your way to Unit 3 Projects ‘Origins’ event 6-9 pm.
‘May Installation’ is inspired by a Slovak old tradition of ‘Majov/Mays’, which is considered the most romantic gesture of all, not practised so much nowadays. A young man would go in the forest to search for the tallest best tree to bring to his girlfriend. Before setting it in the ground, he’d add ribbons and decorate it with a hope to marry her. ‘Mays’ are also known to protect new houses from bad luck and ghosts…
Some new works made especially for the event, from ‘Mountain Lakes’ series below – coming in two sizes – 19.5cm sqare and 14cm square in abalone.
Event day and exhibition
Hello. I’ve been thinking how often one can get lost in contemporary art and its meanings. I for this reason for the first time have written an open ‘confession’ of what inspired me and drove me to make the new abalone sculptures, drawings, call them what you want. With my ‘heart on the text’ I give you this statement about my recent series. All of the pieces are available on DegreeArt.com website under Unit 3 Projects profile. Click away. Thanks.
During the DegreeArt residency ‘In All Directions’, I’ve focused and challenged myself to use another kind of natural material – abalone shells and their mother of pearl. I’m an organic sculptor; I thrive on challenges like these! I picked these shells for a specific reason. I’ve done a research into what kind of shells there are and how they can be sustainably sourced. I use broken recycled abalone shells and my supplier has the Trade in Endangered Species licence (CITES). It is very important to me and I believe as an artist I have a responsibility to the environment.
The new works of ‘Mountain Lakes’ are personal works that relate to the place where I was born in Slovakia, The High Tatras Mountains (Those are split on the north with Poland too). I felt I needed to share part of my belonging, the shapes of snowy peaks and nature I could see every day from my window that influenced me hugely. All this might have contributed that I became a sculptor!
The abalone shells also link my previous sculptural series ‘From the Bottom of the Sea’ and ‘Pearl’ series to the new ‘Mountain Lakes’ series. I consider abalone beautiful as they are, and incorporating them in my works was always going to be something I was going to be very careful about. The way around it was to forget about their preciousness and look at them purely as a sculpting material. Having previously crashed pearls and shells for sculpting, I found this worked this time too, and I could use the mother of pearl contained in abalone shells, including the varied textures and colours.
I used a map of the High Tatras Mountains and I lifted the shapes of mountain lakes out (plesa in Slovak). There are various myths and legends connected to the lakes, those helped me to decide which ones I’d like to enlarge and fill in with mother of pearl. For example ‘Green Duck Lake’ (Zelene Kacacie Pleso) has a myth of a mesmerising white duck laying a golden egg nearby it each Easter; yet no brave man was able to bring it home. Apparently they turned into a rock on contact with the egg!
I’ll return to abalone once again, as one aspect of it I haven’t explained yet. All shells are grittier and rougher on the outside and the inside of the shell that is in direct contact with the animal, the snail that lives in it, is very smooth and often shiny, containing mother of pearl. The inner side, normally considered by people as more attractive side is while the animal is alive, hidden away. The inner beauty is tucked away from us. I’ll compare it to humans now, as good comes within from our hearts us people, doesn’t matter about the outside shell…I self-reflect and have abalone to represent me, us people, as a gesture, adding second personal level to my work, apart from the geographical aspect.
The viewer has a power to a certain extend to change the works, by the reflective surface picking up the colours around it and slightly changing their colour depending. The levels of the light make the artworks change too – they become more ‘sparkly’ with lots of light or colourful and calmer in more shady spot.
These new pieces move between of mediums of sculpture and drawing. Ultimately they are sculptures.
You can see my ‘Mountain Lake’ series and my fellow artists works already starting on Tuesday, 23rd of April at DegreeArt gallery at Vyner street, London. Read more here. I hope to see you there. The show is on till May 5th, 2013. Thank you!
I finished a sculpture at Tynemouth Longsands beach yesterday by dipping it in the sea water. I’ve more images and this photographic series and they will be available as original photographic prints in the near future. Have a great week and come back soon for the next blog post. Cheers!
Click to view them here – http://cargocollective.com/silviakrupinska/LAKES and follow #DAresidency #InAllDirections for more on twitter.
© Silvia Krupinska 2013
Time has come for me to think after this long winter about what is it I want to achieve this season (a year for me begins in the late March). I’ve decided to investigate my roots and true desires in making art, hence I bring you a gesture of this thought, my first self-portrait.
No.1 artwork of this year is finished. It was started at the 2-day sculpting demonstration ‘Blueberry extraction from plaster’ at The Stone Space Gallery in Leytonstone, London, where I’ve currently another ‘Pearl’ Sculpture in the show – ‘artFORMS‘. Show closes on Sunday Jan 6th, 6pm. If you’re interested to have a similar event in your venue or gallery, contact me for details please. Thank you.
Let me introduce to you my new ‘Trochus Pearl Sculpture’ 2012, 6 cm across, made from plaster-de-paris and trochus shell mother-of-pearl. This piece finalizes the series of ‘Pearl Sculptures’ and will be shown in my future group shows coming up in December. To see the details of these, please click on ‘Next Exhibition’ page here, which takes you to my website. To commission your own sculpture or enquire about anything else, leave your comment below or email my studio on email@example.com. Thank you.
Trochus Pearl sculpture, 2012, © Silvia Krupinska
Trochus Pearl sculpture, 2012, © Silvia Krupinska