Izabel Leska – Katowice, Silesia, Poland

Zofia, relief prints, 20 x 20 cm each, 2015

Zofia, relief prints, 20 x 20 cm each, 2015

Briefly describe the work you do. 

In my artistic experience I combine mostly objects, graphics and texts. I see the narration as crucial and necessary attribute of our existence into which every element of the reality is clothed – from a nail to a city. Hence my works are equipped with a plot, often very personal one. I am inspired by stories, because I firmly believe in text. I run both some private shamanic practices and diversionary activities in the city. I deal with a magical dimension of our existence, the simultaneity of the world, André Breton’s objective chance and subtleties of the reality. A multitude of these themes abounds often with complex projects, responding to questions that bother me through various media which I often have to learn completely anew.

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez books must have had a huge impact on me. That’s why currently I find myself so familiar with the ideas that were firstly brought by the surrealists. I am amazed by the idea of magical realism as well as the conceptualism. I follow and highly respect those concepts.

Zofia, installation, relief prints, 40 x 55 cm each, 2015

Zofia, installation, relief prints, 40 x 55 cm each, 2015

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

At the moment I have a tiny studio in my apartment. Actually the studio is also a living room, a place for my bike and my laundry. It is next to my kitchen so I often cook and work at the same time. Nevertheless I am glad that I have that space of my own – even if it’s small and not completely separated from the rest of the house. I spend a lot of time on the computer because I like to precede my work with a vas research. Very often I go to a studio at my current work – the local Academy of Fine Arts (Katowice, Poland) – which is equipped with a press which is an essential element, I need it to make prints – I work in the field of graphic arts, mostly relief prints. In the first step when the main idea is still being under construction I can work everywhere I am – in a train or while jogging. I find the concept itself the most important so I do a lot of thinking, considering and consulting my idea. So I’m not always in a need of my studio.

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

To my own surprise just after graduation I started working at my alma mater. At the moment I am an assistant at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice so I work with students. In the beginning it was complicated to find myself in that role. I was surprised to find out that somebody actually listens to what you have to say and follows my instructions. I learn to follow my intuition and to be self confident as well. Sometimes you also held a representative and official roles – at the openings of exhibitions, during radio interviews or receiving guest from other schools. You need to know how present yourself well.

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

I am quite pedantic so every week I follow a strict schedule. I have to divide my time between my job and my own private artistic practice so sometimes I have things to do planned for example a month in advance. This way of working arises from the technique I do – in graphic arts often you need to plan well while working with lots of layers for examples, prints need time. I have one day a week strictly for art and it’s usually Friday. On Mondays and Thursdays I try to find some time to send e-mails, my portfolio to the galleries or apply for grants and open calls. I appreciate every single spear moment.

Creations, objects made of nails, eyelashes and ceramic mass on glass shelves, 2.5 x 6 x 2.5 cm each, 2013

Creations, objects made of nails, eyelashes and ceramic mass on glass shelves, 2.5 x 6 x 2.5 cm each, 2013

How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?

It has changed diametrically. Five years ago I was still a student and I wasn’t conscious of many aspects of art. Right now I follow a disciplined way of thinking about art and I need to explain to myself every detailed element of my work – why do I use this material? Why do I do it this, not that way? I rarely let myself follow a pure expression. I’ve learned how things need to have a finished look, they can’t be done improperly or carelessly. I am much more patient with my work.

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

In general, everyday life is what gives me an inspiration. I try to do artworks that have a lot in common with everyday life, because I do not like to divide them into two categories. My works are often based on a plot that sometimes derives from life itself.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests? 

I think that my second biggest interests besides art is writing. I had always been reading a lot and I had been very much interested in the literature. I love writing my own texts but I guess that I am lucy that till now I can freely use that ability and employ texts in my art. works. I do that willingly, the text is an important substance for me, I am very receptive towards it. I admire the language, its complexity and poetry.

About

Izabela_Leska headshotBorn in 1989, she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland (diploma with honors in 2013). She studied as well at the École Supérieure d’Art de Clermont Metropole (Clermont-Ferrand, France). She has participated in many projects and exhibitions in the country and abroad (Passion For Freedom 2013, London / Usb Shuffle Show, Berlin). She creates graphics, objects and texts. She works at her home university as an assistant in the Department of Graphic Arts.

Izabela_Leska in her studio

izabelaleska.com

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.

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About 365Artists/365Days

The purpose of this project is to introduce its readership to a diverse collection of art that is being produced at the national and international level. Our goal is to engage the public with information regarding a wide array of creative processes, and present the successes and failures that artists face from day to day. The collaborators hope that this project will become a source for exploring and experiencing contemporary art in all its forms.
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