Malwina Konopacka is an illustrator, graphic artist and designer. She lives and works in Warsaw. She likes to incorporate her paintings and drawings into a 3-dimensional everyday use and decorative objects: plates, glasses, vases. Her most famous project is a porcelain vase “OKO”. There has been so far a few series with different patterns. It had its premiere during the Designers Week in Tokyo (2014). Later on, it was showcased at the design days in New York, London, Expo in Mediolan and at the individual exhibition of Malwina Konopacka at the Cité Radieuse Le Corbusier in Marseille. (2017).
The “OKO” vase is inspired by the design of the 50s and 60s. Hence the idea so that the objects were put on annual auction during the “Craving Beauty” (“Spragnieni Piękna”) Charity Ball at the National Museum which leitmotif will be decades. To mark this occasion a new edition of bigger vases called “OKO Teresa” was launched. Some of the renowned artists: Paweł Althamer, Jadwiga Sawicka, Jarosław Modzelewski, Jan Dobkowski, Agata Bogacka, Agnieszka Brzeżańska and Dorota Buczkowska were asked to interpret them.
Eleven unique pieces of art were created which you may admire at the pre-auction exhibition in the Desa pavilion. You can bet until the 12th February. All income will be donated to the National Museum in Warsaw.
“OKO” itself is a huge vase, however, the vases from the “OKO Teresa” series are really huge!
– You can see how high is my one-year-old daughter. They are exactly her hight- 80cm. Tereska fell in love with these vases. She keeps tapping and hugging them.
They are twice as big as the previous ones.
– Almost, because otherwise, they would look hideous. My favourite professor from the Academy – Włodzimierz Pawlak – whom I invited to take part in this project, warned me against creating a formless object. It is difficult to maintain good proportions in this scale.
How did Pawlak approach this project?
– At first, he didn’t want to take part as he usually doesn’t participate in such projects. Then he offered we did it together. My input is what is outside – a white, clear vase, and he used a painting from the “Dzienniki” series inside. The vase is signed: “Malwina Konopacka, after Włodzimierz Pawlak”.
A bull by Paweł Althamer is really something.
– He immediately started to experiment with form. This bull came to him in a dream. He worked for a few hours a day. I was surprised by his openness, enthusiasm, and creativity. Finally, an incredible object was created. It will be signed: “Matejka’s Common Room” (“Świetlica Matejki”) because Althamer usually works collectively. This time with his wife, Matejka. He encourages me to play a bit with form and make together city lamps.
Agnieszka Brzeżańska also changed the shape of the vase and on the other hand, Agata Bogacka painted it.
Your “Teresa” is black.
– I just wanted to come back to the childhood times hence such strong contrasts like from the 80s.
The “OKO” vases are treated by the majority of people as decorative objects, not items of everyday use. What are they for you? Art or design?
– Subconsciously I am heading towards art. With “Teresa” I’d like to experiment- glue some elements, deconstruct. Pawlak advised me to come back to painting. But I have this feeling that I’ve been doing it all the time, only in 3D. This “Teresa” is nothing more than an enlarged canvas.
Here you will find other works by Malwina Konopacka: malwinakonpacka.com
Photo: Aga Bilska and Marta Wódz for Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciele MNW
Interview: Agnieszka Kowalska