Wadoviana - Wadowice's Cultural Centre Publication, No.14, 2011
PAINTING LIKE PSYCHOTHERAPY
REMEMBERING CHRISTINE SOWINSKA
Christine Sowinska was born in 1952 in London. She has been living in Wadowice since 1959 and she tied her life and artwork with this town.
In 1972, just after graduating from the State Secondary School of Fine Arts in Tarnow on the Faculty of Artistic Weaving and Painting she joined the Art Club "Beskidnicy" and quickly became one of the most active members. It all began in early 70s at Ogrodowa Street with the weekend “Gallery On The Wall”, where exhibitions and fairs were held, and with “Gallery In The Gate”. There, for the first time Sowinska became to be known as a very creative and gifted artist. Since then, she devoted her every spare moment to “Beskidnicy”. Together with Zbigniew Jurczak and Tadeusz “Krak” Kurnik she participated in outings, which she also organised, to Bielsko-Biala (since 1975), Ponikiew, Mucharz, Mszana Dolna, Makow Podhalanski and Zawoja. “When in 1977 we started collaboration with artistic group “Ondraszek” from Bielsko-Biala – Zbigniew Jurczak tells – Christine became our “ambassador” with “Ondraszek”. She was strongly involved in diverse activities of Wadowice Creative Artwork Club – that was the name taken by “Beskidnicy” in spring 1979 – she took part in the preparations for “Days of Wadowice”, Monday artistic meetings in the “Pigula” club where she conducted the “Evening (Gallery) of One Artwork”. When in 1978 the town authorities endorsed the artists with the house on the corner of Poprzeczna Street and Emila Zegadlowicza Street to hold the gallery and artistic studio, Christine Sowinska also engaged in this club activity. The road of the amateur artist to the art making with “Beskidnicy” wasn’t easy – alongside the club there was a committee formed, qualifying the wannabes – besides the nestor of the Wadowice artistic community, professor Franciszek Suknarowski and Zbigniew Jurczak, the group’s animator, Christine Sowinska sat in it.
The artist took part in all collaborative exhibitions of WCAC and in multiple on location expositions, also abroad. As a graphic she illustrated “Biblioteki Nadskawia” series published between 1982 and 1988, edited by Jacek Kajtoch and issued by Literary Group “Nadskawie”.
From 1998 to 2005 she was WCAC “Beskidnicy” chairwoman.
In the seventies Christine Sowinska worked in “Labedy” establishment, but she developed her artistic skills as an art instructor in Wadowice's Cultural Centre and as a teacher.
“She was a punctual and reliable employee – Anna Zajac, a longstanding administrative member of staff reminisces – but foremost a very prolific, creative personality – she arranged and decorated exhibitions taking place in the Cultural Centre. She put on a display her own works in the so called “Kurnik” on the second floor of the building.” “Kurnik” in its time was Wadowice’s artists’ Mecca; its name came from the name of one of them, the painter, graphic and sculptor Tadeusz Kurnik.
Sowinska also worked as an art instructor in the Elementary School no 1 (no 3 nowadays) – she had a great contact with the youth, whom she also privately prepared for contests and art school exams.
She presented her work besides before mentioned collective exhibitions and outings of “Beskidnicy” also in individual expositions in Wadowice, in Gallery on Koscielna among others, Estate Club Garsoniera and BWA Gallery. Her works were exposed in Bielsko-Biala, many towns in Malopolska, Silesia and also abroad – in France and Italy. She has often given them as gifts on various occasions.
What were the inspirations in her wide –ranging creativity? Mainly nature, especially flowers – in her watercolours and graphics butterflies, birds, caged birds, landscapes and evidently flowers appear. In her artworks different techniques occur – from watercolours and gouache (covering water based paint) through figurative and decorative painting, graphics, and tempera to oil on canvas. In Sowinska’s painting there can be realism found as well as symbolism and fantasy. The artist cannot be ascribed to a particular form or technique – she was an individualist.
Christine Sowinska presented her works in the cyclically organised (1995, 2000, 2005) by Wadowice’s Cultural Centre exhibitions of Wadowice Artistic Community. Death stopped the artist from attending the 4th edition of WAC in 2010, despite that her works decorated the Cultural Centre’s hall.
She died on 9th of February 2010. She is buried in the Parish Cemetery in Wadowice.
Tuesday, 24 september
WADOWICE. Christine Sowinska's paintings
In Wadowice's Cultural Centre exposition hall there has been an
exhibit of Christine Sowinska's works of art. She is celebrating
the thirtieth anniversary of her career. Many of the artist's
friends and collectors of art came for the vernisage, opened by Piotr Wyrobiec, manager of the Centre.
"The choice of artwork to be shown was a considerable dilemma for me,
but I finally decided on the theme of birds, as
this subject has characterized my whole body of work.
That's where the exhibition's name >>Flying<< comes from" -
Christine Sowinska said. "It allowed me to unite subsequent
periods of my work; figurative and surreal, into logical sequence" - the artist explained.
first exhibition of Christine Sowinska, which also had place
in Wadowice's Cultural Centre, was opened by professor Wlodzimierz
Hodys, and recognised by the late Franciszek Suknarowski, patron
of Wadowice's artists. Many people in attendance today have followed
the work of Christine Sowinska since her beginnings.
We highly recommend seeing this exhibition, open till the end of