“The house in Witowice Dolne is the house of my childhood. It is occupied by my eyes and by the ghosts I collected with great dedication during the first years of my life. The house stands on the edge of a forest so green and virgin that you cannot help but happen upon magical creatures within it. Returning to its depths, I resume my adventures and rethink riddles left unresolved. I still seek the answers. My grandmother was my guide through this realm. It was she who led me into the forest. She addressed mushrooms, stones, and roots by their true names. Some she gave anthropomorphic features and carried home. Over the years, these objects filled the interior. Nothing was ever discarded—if she returned with something, it stayed with her forever. The house grew old with her. Everything within was subject to natural cycles. Huge roots resembling animals, bunches of plants, and pebbles arranged on the clay of the old stove watched over us. They reconciled the home with the dark forest.” Kawecki
Using amulets from the warehouse-house, Kawecki began to re-interpret old myths and Slavic rituals. By performative activities, objects, installations and portraits, he combined the forest space with the space of his grandmother’s house. The result of his actions is a series of symbolic images. Alec Soth wrote, “In Tomasz Kawecki’s series, a Lair, there is a photograph that made me gasp. An elderly woman, presumably naked, reclines on a bed with snail shells covering her eyes. The swirl of the shells evokes a state of hypnosis or hallucination. The viewer becomes the dreamer with visions of anthropomorphic objects, dark forests and pond fires. The fact that Kawecki’s photos were made with his grandmother in his childhood home makes his project all the more meaningful. It prompts me to reflect on the boundless mix of imagination and sensory discovery one feels during childhood. Kawecki’s pictures function like his grandmother’s talismans – as portals to expanded consciousness.”
Tomasz Kawecki (b. 1993) is a photographer living and working between Cracow and Warsaw. He studied in the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology and is currently studying at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava.Tomasz’s work comes from his inner space. Using elements of performance and installation, he mixes fiction with reality, which results in a quasi-documentary outcome. In his works, he uses universal symbols that are archetypes in the collective thinking of society. Out of the chthonic nature, out of its chaos, he intuitively selects fragments from which he creates images. The leitmotif of Tomasz’s works is the dualism present in nature and man. Tomasz’s work has been exhibited and published internationally. Among others, he is a winner of LensCulture ArtPhotography Awards(US), Cracow Photomonth ShowOFF section (PL), Grand Prix IMAnext in Dream(JPN), and Reframing History in Photo Vogue Italia.