When: 8 June – 29 July 2018
Opening: 8 June (Friday), 7pm
Curator: Wojciech Luchowski
Coordination: Anna Kompanowska
Preparation: Wojciech Ruminski
Every Saturday you are kindly invited to meet the artist during the exhibition!
Picturebooks are books designed not only to be looked at – most of all, their form encourages reflection and dialogue. We would like you to be able to talk about them with their author! Iwona Chmielewska will be waiting for you each Saturday during the exhibition, from 12 AM until 1.30 PM. In a relaxed, friendly atmosphere you will have the opportunity to ask questions, share your impressions and engage in a conversation.
First meeting: June 9 (Saturday), at 12.00
Last meeting: July 28 (Saturday), at 12.00
At the exhibition of Iwona Chmielewska’s works entitled RZECZY WIŚCIE [IN DEED] organised in the Centre of Contemporary Art in Toruń we will present about two hundred unique, hand-made works, created with techniques specific for this artist, who likes combining drawing, graphic design, fabric and everyday objects. However, this is not a typical comprehensive presentation of her artistic work or an attempt at summarising a stage of creation, but rather a proposal of a different perspective on the artist’s work, this time focusing on the complexity of the relationship that joins the author, the work and the viewer. This is also a question about the status and rank of the illustrations from picture books and about the strength of their visual impact. On the one hand, the exhibition raises the question about the schematic nature of our reflection on art – closed within stereotypical clichés, within rigid boundaries of specific genres or reproduced thinking patterns. On the other hand, this is a search for an appropriate proportion.
As Iwona Chmielewska herself says in one of the interviews:
“Picturebook is a category of books, which also makes it possible to discuss important social subjects. This is often overlooked in Poland. It is commonly thought that picturebooks may be designed only for children, while adults should not be dealing with them at all. I am trying to prove that a picturebook may be an incredibly important medium in building democracy. And this is what I personally believe. As we open and observe the pictures in an important book – a socially important one, and this is the type of books I create – I think we have an opportunity to open up to other people.”
Iwona Chmielewska is one of the leading authors of picturebooks where image is of primary importance as the medium of content and narration. Image is not used as illustration here, nor is it a visual commentary or supplementary addition to the textual content – instead, it is an independent source of multidimensional meanings and senses, used in its own right. Through its visual form and a multitude of images, a picturebook is an immensely complex yet subtle universal message. Chmielewska’s works encourage sharp insight, focused perception and a broader perspective, so as to find new, often surprising links. Rather than provide us with information, they shape, transform or distort our perception, which encourages us to process our experience, our worlds and ourselves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Iwona Chmielewska (born in 1960) graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and majored in artistic printmaking. Her main works include picturebooks, most of which are published abroad, mainly in South Korea. She received many prestigious awards, such as the Golden Apple Award at the Biennale of Illustrators in Bratislava and twice the Bologna Ragazzi Award. She lives and works in Toruń. Her works include i.a. the following books: O tych, którzy się rozwijali [People who grew] (2013), Oczy [The Eyes] (2014), Królestwo dziewczynki [A Girl’s Kingdom] (2014), Dwoje ludzi [Two People] (2014), Na wysokiej górze [On a High Mountain] (together with Krystyna Miłobędzka, 2014) W kieszonce [In a Pocket] (2015), Obie [Both] (2016), Dopóki niebo nie płacze [Until the Sky Cries] (2016).