Jolanta Czerwińska-Smagieł, born in 1957 in Bydgoszcz. She studied at the Faculty of Arts at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. In 1979, she graduated in graphics art under Prof. Danuta Kołwzan-Nowicka. She teaches art and is a photographer. She is the head of the Vocational College of Fine Arts in Bydgoszcz.
It is with fondness that I remember the times when as a little girl, I watched my grandmother at work. In the dimly lit room, in the darkroom, I watched in awe as she put a white sheet into a flat container with fluid and, after a while, first the outlines and then the full figures started to appear on paper. I also liked to sit in a bright room, formerly known as the studio, lit by beautiful light seeping through the glass roof. Grandma changed the glass plates in the cassette, stood in front of the huge camera, covered her head with a black material and… at this point, the person being photographed froze. Their face or their figure was just recorded for posterity.
This way, I slowly allowed myself to be captivated by the magic that photography was for me at the time. It was and still is. My paintings, painted with light, show the more beautiful part of the world. I look for inspiration in places that attract me in a strange way, with their good energy, beautiful scenery, amazing architecture, or ordinary, prosaic objects…
One of the artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when so many new things were going on in art, said that a painting should be like a comfortable armchair.I would like to make it so with my photography. So that one could rest watching my photos…
Jolanta Czerwińska-Smagieł, a trained graphic artist, did lithography and graphic design, and now got interested in computer graphics. But the most important thing for her is photography, which has fascinated her since childhood, from the time of visits to the studio and darkroom of her grandmother Wanda Czerwińska in Kraśnik Lubelski. She photographs unusual and ordinary places, architecture, landscapes, houses, looking for light in them, wanting to retain it in this one moment important for her. She travels the world to enter the interiors of Gothic cathedrals, in which the light has a significant share real and mystical. She looks for such light in everyday reality. Can it make unreal a banal landscape, an interior or an object? The task is difficult, but extremely interesting.
For her exhibition, she chose fourteen images with the recurring motif of a window and glass bottles of various shapes, colour and size standing on the ledge. From them, she creates peculiar still lives placed on the border between the house and a vast landscape. In fact, we do see neither the house’s interior nor the landscape we only sense the presence of these spaces. Our attention is focused on the bottles empty, old, useless, but necessary for Jola to seek the light. She would like to stop light in the bottles, but it sparkles and refracts on their surface, reproduces the shapes in the window panes, is free and unpredictable in its actions. Light in bottles that was the working title of the exhibition. But not only the bottle still lives are important in Jola’s photograms; also the old wooden window with peeling paint, the window with a past, the window of the time that passed. This is an important part of the house of white limestone in Kaliszany on the Vistula River (Lublin District). It’s a magical place for the author, where she spends all summer months and possibly will choose to live there on a permanent basis. A place that she protects for herself and her loved ones.
Those who look at the pictures, Jola stops in the window she draws the curtain aside for a short moment for the viewer to peek inside, and the blurred view of the river gives only an impression of the landscape it all happens on the windowsill.
curator of the exhibition: Elżbieta Kantorek