Monday, 21 November 2011

Krakow 2011

A whirl-wind tour, of our enriching, fascinating and action- packed trip to Krakow.

Wednesday 16th November

We arrived at 12.30pm and after a quick freshen up, navigated ourselves straight into town. First stop was The Jan Fejkiel Gallery. This as full of stunning print work by artists such as Władysław Pluta , Jerzy Panek and Wiesław Skibiński. We just love the polish sensibility and natural graphic aesthetic.

After getting our barings, in the main square, we looked inside the spectacular St. Mary's Basilica. It was so ostentatious on the interior and we just sat and took in the view.

We visited the home of Jan Matejko, a very famous Polish painter. He was a prolific artist and collector of objects. the Academy of Fine Arts in named after him. We then meet other staff to eat and relax, in a bar with swings at the bar and drawings on the wall.

Thursday 17th November

An early start for a meeting with, Professor Adam Wsiołkowski at the The Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts. We were taken through to his offices, which were very grande. He welcomed us and gave us some books as a gift for making the effort to visit. We then watched a film about all the courses taught at the Academy. Next we were taken to another building nearby to meet with a professor called Joanna. She showed us around all the facilities for poster design, animation, screen-printing studio and the vast spaces dedicated to lithography, etching, lino – beautiful hand-made techniques that I wish were fully utilised at our college. Lots of skill, time taken to produce work and understand of process was evident.

We hunted down the small but cosy Galeria Plakatu - Poster Gallery, lots of purchases were made as we drooled over the wonderful work.

Friday 18th November

Auschwitz left us all very speechless and emotional. An excellent and moving experience, which is hard to put into words. Best just to show pictures.

Friday 19th November

Hunting Down the Modernism. The Prohibited Arts in the Third Reich at the International Culture Centre. A fitting exhibition following yesterdays trip. This was a rich and wonderful exhibition, showing work by German artists, writers and composers who were persecuted by the Nazi authorities during their time in office from 1933 to 1945. There was a wide range of work includingprints, drawings, sculpture, literary works and musical pieces. Artists work on show included Emil Nolde, Max Ernst, Georg Grosz and Otto Freundlich. It had real impact and power.

A personal favourite museum was the delightful Ethnographic Museum. Set in a former Town Hall there were authentic reproduction of a folk interior from different regions of Poland, stunning folk costumes, an extensive range of implements used by people from Poland's countryside. The objects were displayed really well and it didn't matter that all the information was in Polish. We all nearly had a fit when we saw the Puppet Theater's and costumes for traditional folklore - lots of connections made about the current Year 1 project.

We then took a walk to MOCAK via the Ghetto for Heroes Square. After a look round the gallery, we meet in the cafe with Karol Gadzala and Marta Podkowinska.

They each have developed a distinctive style with their passion for letters and eye catching type illustration. Their work lies somewhere between the collision of Graphic Design, Typography and Illustration. They have both worked with various clients all over Europe and spoke of their experiences of the design industry in Poland. They have both used the Behance network as a platform to showcase their work. They recommended that we contact:

  • studio,
  • Hipopotum Studio,
  • Istvan Szugicky,
  • HYDRO74,
  • KXX studio,
  • fontearte,
  • HOMEWORK - who do very contemporary Polish Posters.
  • They mentioned as the polish version of D&AD or AIGA.

They were so generous to us with their time, past experiences and advice

to students. We hope that they will come to the UK to do some teaching at

Stockport College!