Connect: London and Katowice
December 2016, Hornsey Town Hall, London, UK
June 2017, Rondo Gallery, Katowice, Poland
After almost two years of hard work we are happy to welcome you to the grand finale of the project Connect:Katowice at Rondo Gallery. The project is presented by a series of British and Polish artists’ partnerships from Chelsea College of Arts in London and Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, curated by Oksana Smirnova and Pawel Mendrek. The dialogue between the artists and curators started in September 2015, and aimed to question the foundational role of perception in understanding their own worlds and the worlds of others. These discussions were followed by the period of artists’ online and offline meetings, conversations, and building of connections, which resulted in a collective, introductory art exhibition in December 2016 at Hornsey Town Hall Art Centre in London. The research process and organic evolution of the project then continued for a further 6 months, culminating as an art festival and finale in June 2017 at the Rondo Gallery and other venues in Katowice.
Connect:Katowice project aims to show the audience how beneficial intercultural communication can be and reflects the interconnection of the roles of artists and curators coming from very different backgrounds. The project investigates and addresses a variety of subjects; some of the artists have been exploring the theme of Polish-British migration during the WWII and how it influenced those involved in the migration process and their further generations; other artists have been interested in studying each other’s lands, their hidden traces, and folklore. And most importantly, all artists have been exchanging the artistic techniques and experience that they each gained in their homelands.
We strongly believe that the result of the project was very beneficial for the artists and the curators involved in it. The progress of the collaboration process was moving in various directions, both expected and unexpected. Sometimes smooth, sometimes resistant, the results were great pieces of art being created by both groups and individuals under the influence of the collaborative process. Forming a collective within the institution also continues to be very advantageous for all parties in that a pro-active collective makes it easier to bring the initiatives forward. Therefore, as an evolving group of creatives, and a rich platform for interdisciplinary exchange, we aim to continue stretching our boundaries by organising various experimental collaborations in future and by potentially presenting Connect:Vienna, Connect:Budapest, Connect:Berlin, and more.
Artists: Paul Abbott, Marilyn Collins, Marcin Czarnopyś, Sarah Faulkner, Kelise Franclemont, Dagmara Jemioła-Hryniewicka, Karina Kałuża, Wojtek Kazimierczak, Ewa Kozera, Monika Krasoń, Izabela Łęska, Agata Leżuch, Joseph Lichy, Shadi Mahsa, Mariusz Maślanka, Monika Mysiak, Regan O’Callaghan, Aga Piotrowska-Jaworek, Alex Roberts, Magda Sierpińska, Sybilla Skałuba, Jonathan Slaughter, Agata Szymanek, Louise Wheeler, Joanna Zdzienicka, Adam Żółtowski, Angelina Kornecka
Curators: Oksana Smirnova and Pawel Mendrek