Weronika Skonieczna

Weronika Skonieczna

Can you tell me a bit about yourself? Within the last few years you graduated with an MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland; are you still living there?

Yes. I graduated in 2013, Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland, and straight after my diploma I went to Leipzig, Germany, where I rented a studio in Spinnerei. That was an amazing time, I met a lot of artista from around the world. Leipzig become my home. Now, I am living in Berlin, I am working for the artist Sandra Becker, and going back to Leipzig from time to time.

Who or what are some of your major influences? Or where do your ideas come from?

Since I began my path with painting, a big influence are for me are 3 artists: Antoni Tàpies, Cy Twombly, Jean-Michel Basquiat. I still have so much inspiration from their work. I can study it for the hours. Of course, now, there are more and more artists that I am discovering, especially from a younger generation, like: Oscar Murillo, Trudy Benson. The biggest, latest inspiration is Brigit Brenner, and the also amazing Katharina Grosse.

My inspirations are coming from watching those stunning artists work. I am starting to ask: How? What? How it's possible? And then ideas are coming to my head and I just want to work. 

Also the old factories, where you can see the history on the walls. I like to work with textures, layers, how to achieve some effects. I like to mix the old with the new. The old, ragged surface, with typography, tags or just symbols. All this tickles my brain, and gives me more motivation to work.

What first interested you in making art?

I think I like this process. Working with materials, different textures.... what I can achieve from those materials that I am working with. This process is like meditation, and gives a lot of freedom, feels like anything is possible, involves all your senses. This is great feeling. 

You specifically work with printmaking techniques; what first led you to printmaking?

I studied Graphic Design, so that was one of the obligatory subject in my school... but very fast I discovered how amazing the results were in working with all those print techniques. Again, a fascination with the process, and the machines, working with the chemicals, paints. Like a chemist that creates something from nothing.

What is your studio like? How much time do you try to spend in the studio?

My studio is in an old factory, with other artists in the building. I have a big window that gives me a lot of day light -- that I need. Iam working with big size paper, so it is easier to work on the floor. And also I have one clean wall that I hang my work on to see the final result. I am trying to keep it clean, not filled with to much stuff, which just clutters the space. I like empty, clean spaces; that is a good beginning to work.

I spend a lot of time in my studio, and especially if I have a deadline coming up. 

From your CV it also looks like you have curated as well, particularly one between 9 artists from Leipzig and 9 artists from Wroclaw. What was that experience like? Do you feel that curating has influenced how you make your own work?

Yes, I am curating also. That was huge project with a lot of people involved. I was one of 4 curators, with 3 galleries in it. That was big lesson for me... a lesson in organization, working with people, working with institutions. On the end, a lot of people came for the event, we had a lot of good comments, which was big satisfaction for me, but also I was really exhausted after all.

I think because I have improved my organizing skills, I am now more focused, and I am working faster, and have more confidence with what I want achieve, but maybe it all came from general experience.

What do you consider to be the most rewarding or fulfilling part of being an artist?

The infinite possibility of it, and for sure... transcending my own limitations.

What do you find most challenging about being an artist?

The professional side of it, which sometimes is not so colorful, and can be tricky.

Is there any advice that you would give to a young person or student just beginning to explore a career in art?

I am always saying to people that are on the very beginning of their artistic path, that they should work a lot, work, and again... work. That gives you ideas, experience, confidence.

Any upcoming exhibitions or projects?

Yes, I will cooperate with other artist from Berlin, this time I will work on a video installation. It is very beginning of this project, short timeline, so... I am very excited.

Find more at veraskonieczna.tumblr.com!

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