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Artist Spotlight: Edyta Jaworek

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

We are thrilled to begin announcing the participating artists in our inaugural charity initiative Artscope: Aid Ukraine 2023. Our Artist Spotlight features will share the stories, experiences and inspiration behind each talented individual, starting with Polish multidisciplinary artist Edyta Jaworek. Edyta studied on a full merit scholarship at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida. She will next be enrolling at the Royal College of Art this autumn to pursue her MA in Contemporary Art.


Edyta at Mandy Zhang Art, photographed with one of her donated works. Photo by Kate Fensterstock.

When asked about what inspired and motivated Edyta to pursue art, she recalls that the drive was always there, it just wasn't fully clear that is could be a full-time, professional reality. "I remember being a teenager who chose to go to an academically selective middle school instead of an art school, finding myself crying on the floor of my room thinking that I was wasting my life not pursuing art. It was very dramatic, and no one witnessed it thankfully. The pull was there," she recalls. "I ended up working as a product designer in tech, and after a while I couldn't bear it anymore. I think that when you have a calling you must answer it." To Edyta, her practice marries intellect and skill, ingenuity and dedication, flights of fancy and satisfying work ethic which suits her nature perfectly. "I am originally from a 300-person village in Upper Silesia, Poland, but then was educated in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy and Florida, US, prior to landing in the UK. My international upbringing and experiences influence my practice. In fact, two of the works I am donating to Artscope: Aid Ukraine will be completed during my residency program in Palermo, and the other two are informed by my experience in the UK."


Edyta found a huge challenge was in developing skills and a practice whilst being employed full-time, building up the financial strength to make the leap. "I left a job that required me to travel a lot to the US to be able to actually get things done instead of being permanently jet-lagged. I then took on a job at a company in the UK which helped, and eventually was able to leave this too. Being an artist is incredibly expensive, especially at the beginning. But I try not to think about that too much; money always comes from somewhere. I'm an optimist and I always find my way."


Edyta with a work by Ruofan Chen. Photo by Mandy Zhang.

During this exciting time of transition, Edyta found it crucial as an artist to try many different things and embrace diverse materials and media to learn and develop. "I enjoy being challenged by difficult topics and love to create work in response to a stimulus, be it something that happened, something I read, or something someone has asked for. I create work that reflect on society, current events, trends, and personal histories. I try to combine journalistic inquiry, reflection, and aim to encourage new ways of looking at the world." While Edyta likes working in a variety of media choosing what's most appropriate for the work, something she naturally gravitates towards is traditional and natural pigments and paints. She often mixes and uses her own.


The artworks Edyta is donating to the Artscope: Aid Ukraine silent auction are two linocuts that are both signifiant within her journey towards becoming an artist. "Early on I was drawn to the bold graphic works of Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as the lithographs of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Although executed in various media, these works share boldness of shape and colour, and I wanted to be able to do that. Not long after I arrived in London I undertook various printmaking courses, including one with an artist whose print I own and love, and one at the Art Academy London."


"One of the prints I'm donating to the auction is that of an English seaside. It's moody and mellow yes somehow optimistic. I love the sea and water, and London is about as far from the sea as I can tolerate. The second print is that of an estate building created in the heyday of social housing and brutalist architecture. What I find fascinating is how interwoven by design social housing is into the fabric of London. The ideas and ideals that went into constructing many of the now iconic buildings were admirable and ambitious. While brutalism is not my preferred style of dwelling, I have an appreciation for it and for its forms. This print came about when I was deeply engaged with the topic."


Edyta plans on donating two more paintings, which she'll create during her art residency in Palermo. "It is my first residency and I have this deep desire to paint Monte Pellegrino over and over again, like Cézanne did with Mont Sainte-Victorie. It inspired Frankenthaler's seminal "Mountains and the Sea". Both of these artists have profoundly influenced my development so far and I intend to engage with them further during this residency."


Edyta at work in Palermo, April 2023.

Edyta in front of her work entitled "What's your sign?", oil on canvas, 2023.

Edyta was initially drawn to the charitable initiative of Artscope: Aid due to a specific cultural sympathy. "I wanted to support Artscope: Aid Ukraine because I'm from Poland and so I do sympathise with Ukrainians. Lots of my friends are from there. I was quite emotionally affected by the conflict at the beginning, having lots of dreams about the war. That inspired another project, called "War. PutIn. My Dreams." It felt like even though I was safe in London, my dreamspace was invaded and that made me angry. I'm still collecting the dreams, but I haven't revisited them comprehensively yet. It will happen when the time is right."


Edyta recognises the significant feeling of kinship between her country and Ukraine."My country has suffered a lot throughout history and large parts of Ukraine used to be Polish territory so there is also this familial understanding that is palpable. As artists, it's good to be useful beyond the aesthetic, intellectual, or spiritual value of our work. Artscope: Aid has created a way to be useful in this way and support our practice at the same time."


Edyta with Mandy Zhang and Anastasiia Surovtsova of Artscope: Aid Ukraine 2023. Photo by Kate Fensterstock.

Be sure to follow us on social media and regularly check our website for more information about the talented artists and team members heralding this initiative. Bidding on these works will go live in early May, so keep an eye out for additional announcements. For all press enquiries, including further information on Artscope and Artscope: Aid, please email kate@artscopeintl.com.

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