King of Spades

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.

« Wheel of Fortune »

series of group exhibitions called "Fingers Crossed"

  • Fingers-Crossed-Karolful
  • Fingers-Crossed-Karolful2

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.

« Mirrored Minds » Exhibition

residency with TurnAround Dance Theatre

  • Mirrored-Minds_Karolful_1
  • Mirrored-Minds_Karolful_2
  • Mirrored-Minds_Karolful_3
  • Mirrored-Minds_Karolful_4

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.

« Pandora’s Box » Exhibition

solo exhibition 25th Sept - 5th Oct 2014, at Union 105, Leeds

  • Pandora's Box_Exhibition_Karolful_1
  • Pandora's-Box_Exhibition_Karolful-2
  • Pandora's-Box_Exhibition_Karolful-7
  • Pandora's-Box_Exhibition_Karolful-3
  • Pandora's-Box_Exhibition_Karolful-4
  • Pandora's-Box_Exhibition_Karolful-5
  • Pandora's-Box_Exhibition_Karolful-8

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.

  • MA-Exhibition_Karolful-5
  • MA Exhibition_Karolful_2
  • MA Exhibition_Karolful_3
  • MA Exhibition_Karolful_4
  • MA Exhibition_Karolful_1

The MA” exhib­i­tion is the res­ult of a col­lab­or­a­tion between visu­al artist Karolina Szymkiewicz | KarolfulTASTE 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).

The dir­ect inspir­a­tion for the art­work comes from the video “Urban Butoh” per­formed by Butoh dance mas­ter Atsushi Takenouchi and dir­ec­ted by Jordi Arqué.

Please read here to learn more about the con­cept behind the art­work of the exhib­i­tion.

However, if you would like to learn more about the col­lab­or­at­ors, see stages of the devel­op­ment of the art­work and more please vis­it the blog by click­ing here.

TIG Prize winner

New Lights exhibition, Mercer Gallery in Harrogate

  • Tig-Prize_karolful_art_2
  • Tig-Prize_karolful_art_5
  • Tig-Prize_karolful_art_3
  • Tig-Prize_karolful_art_4
  • Tig-Prize_karolful_art_1

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.