In conversation with UK-based artist and teacher Sylwia Kramarz.
Originally from Poland, Sylwia studied at the University of Zielona Góra and finished her education with a Master’s Degree in Social and Cultural Animation with additional specialisation in Art/Photography.
Can you talk about your journey into or interest in the arts?
As far as I remember I have always been passionate about art, art galleries and making art … These days, being a teacher in an art and design department, it also gives me real pleasure to talk to students about art, their inspirations and the development of their ideas.
Do you use a sketchbook? I’m interested in what a sketchbook means to you and your work, or how people develop their ideas.
To be honest, I never use a sketchbook … instead, I always use loose sheets of paper when making a collage or drawing. Sometimes, when I think it is useful, I paste it into a sketchbook. This way of working gives me more freedom. My artworks do not need to be perfect, nor do they even have to be finished pieces. After making a collage or drawing, I really like sticking it onto a wall and looking at it for several days until I am completely sure that it is really what I wanted to achieve visually.
Can you talk about the influences upon your work?
I am inspired by many different aspects of present reality, but mainly it often relates to certain experiences in my life.
What themes are you exploring through your work?
When I make my collages, the phrases that I think of as inspirational, which move my imagination, are ‘lack of permanence of the subject’ and/or ‘the lack of permanence of the experienced reality’.
Can you talk about your process of working. How do you work, how often, and is there a particular pattern?
There is no particular pattern. Sometimes it is very sudden: I am just feeling that I have to create something in that moment, no matter what.
Do you find the process of creating work relaxing or therapeutic? I’ve become increasingly interested in the relationship of work to the artist, and how this enhances their lives.
For me, creating is a form of movement and without it I have the feeling that I am standing still … It is like an inner imperative which helps to release my thoughts and emotions.
I like producing images that encourage a viewer to feel some emotion, that cause a reaction.