International Isolation Interview with Ewelina Skowronska
Updated: May 10
Photo credit : Maciej Komorowski
We want to share with you a new series of International Isolation Interviews. Lockdown is easing but international travel is still a distant dream, so we have asked our artists based abroad to share their studio practice with us. To kick off this new series we go to Tokyo to see what Ewelina Skowronska has been up to.
SEAM: Do you have a daily routine in the studio? How do you get into the creative process?
Ewelina Skowronska: My studio I quite far from my home, 1h by bike or train (it’s funny that it takes the same amount of time), so I usually have some structure in my head before I come the the studio. But what I do in the studio varies depending on what I am working on at the certain moment. Sometimes I do research siting downstairs - I share studio with 3 other creatives, so we have great library and space to think. When I am producing I am completely in my own
world, messing around in my studio. So I think in a sense, everyday is a bit different. But I
have to confess that afternoons and evenings are the best times for me to fully dive in to
creative kind of work.
SEAM: You’ve recently begun producing ceramic sculpture as part of your practice, what was the inspiration behind that? Which discipline or material do you find yourself coming back to? What would you like to try next?
ES: I started working with clay when I moved to Japan, a place with amazing tradition of ceramic art. For me working with clay was a huge discovery. My practice was always connected with 2D work on paper, so working in more dimensional way opened up many new doors. With this came interest of working with more installation based ideas, combining 2D with 3D or even with moving images. So, I also learned After Effects to be able to create my own animation and moving images. I am interested in the marriage of traditional techniques like printmaking or ceramics and new technologies.
SEAM: Is there an element of self-portraiture or real-life reference in your figurative work or do
you approach it from an abstract angle?
ES: Before I start working I usually sketch and draw, but not so much in details. Just enough to
have some idea of what the next work is about, as with printmaking you need to plan ahead. But I never use real life references or photos. However, my process depends on the technique I use. When I work with intaglio the process very often makes decision for me. I really like that, this uncertainty. Recently I have been using airbrush a lot, and this is very different approach for creating - everything happens very direct, and very fast, and I love it.
SEAM: As a Polish artist who has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and America, do you find
the city you find yourself in has an influence on your work? How does your routine differ?
ES: Living in different places makes you realize that at the end of the day your life is your life,
doesn't matter where you are based. Small routines, things you like, people you making
friend with - all these are the mirrors of who you are. But of course our surrounding have a
huge impact on us.
The colours in LA looks different than in Tokyo or London. So, for sure being in Japan influence me and broaden my horizons, because being foreigner in every place push you to go out of so called - comfort zone. It also helped me to realize how much Polish I am, and where I am coming from, what my roots are. And I am sure this is also reflected in my work.