Submission for Playing Arts Contest
My interpretation of the King of Spades portrays him charging into peril, accompanied by a hawk. The bird can be taken as a literal companion, harking back to the medieval tradition of falconry. Equally, it can be interpreted as a symbol of vision, attention and focus. In mythology the hawk is often used as a representation of the soul : Valkyries transformed into hawks and carried the souls of fallen warriors from Norse battlefields to Valhalla. Meanwhile in Ancient Egypt and Rome, the hawk was released at the death of important figures to represent the soul transitioning from the mundane into the afterlife. In sum, you can view the hawk here as a spirit animal, a companion and/or a reminder of the fragility of life.
The illustration was done in black and white and combined traditional with digital, linear drawing. To view other submissions please visit Playing Arts website.
series of group exhibitions called "Fingers Crossed"
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. The poster image was designed by Alex Young.
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.
residency with TurnAround Dance Theatre
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.
solo exhibition 25th Sept - 5th Oct 2014, at Union 105, Leeds
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.
The “MA” exhibition is the result of a collaboration between visual artist Karolina Szymkiewicz | Karolful, TASTE Shop and Noo-Studio. It was produced in TASTE Studio, during Karolful’s March 2014 residency and ran between the 11th of April and 13th of May 2014, in TASTE Shop’s exhibition space in Tian Zi Fang (Shanghai).
New Lights exhibition, Mercer Gallery in Harrogate
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.