People and spaces create the essence of a city. Architecture, unusual places and objects, strange nooks, well-known paths, emotions, and memories. In PURO Q&A we ask inspiring artists, designers, and creators of the contemporary urban world about their ways of creating and experiencing cities.
Olga Milczyńska* is an artist and author of unique installations drawing on the contexts of place, nature, and natural processes. A sensitive and attentive observer of people and situations, placing her work at the intersection of design and art.
Blue Line, Skulptur Festival / Bornholm, Dania 2013, photo: Olga Milczyńska
I experience the city…
I bike daily – it’s my favorite means of transport all year through. It’s much easier to stop anywhere you want and get a better perspective of people when you ride a bike instead of driving a car. Walking, of course, also has its merits, giving us even more freedom and an even greater possibility for observation. What I like doing is smiling at people and waiting for their reaction. I am interested in the city’s architecture, but it’s always people within the architecture who have my full attention.
When I want to meet people…
I invite friends home or to my studio. I also have my favorite food spots in the city where I eat with friends or alone. It takes time to find a friendly space, but once I do, I like coming back. You’d be surprised to hear that it’s not that easy to find a place with good food, friendly service and cozy interior. What I like about the city are the crowds of people in the evening, not only the ones full of energy and easiness, but also the calm groups of people contemplating art in museums and galleries. I think that this room for diversity is what I value the most.
Lust installation / Poznań 2014, photo: Damian Borejko
Towers, Skulptur Festival / Bornholm, Dania 2012, photo: Olga Milczyńska
Objects for PURO Gdańsk, photo: Marta Szostek
Simple Constructions exhibition, Galeria Łęctwo / Poznań 2015
Olga's favorite spot at the Vistula river
Olga's work at PURO Poznań
Very often. Usually in the evenings and in the neighborhood. I take 20-minute walks, with my gaze fixed on nothing in particular. Sometimes I peek through windows to see how other people live. Where I live now I can walk by the Vistula River. I like these river banks – some of them concrete and quite contemporary, with others wild and green. These two worlds give you a choice and that’s beautiful.
I grew up in the countryside and every time I moved to a new city I would discover its parks, or easieast ways to get to a forest, meadow, river. Only after I did that would I explore busy streets, squares and urban nooks. I have my favorite places in Warsaw where you can see both beaver dams and the Palace of Culture.
Things I always have on me…
…a notebook, for wtiting things down.
A must-have item in my suitcase…
Apart from cosmetics and a notebook – nothing comes to my mind. Looking around and meeting new people is more important to me than sunglassess.
*Olga Milczyńska, born in 1982 in Zabrze. In 2016, together with Irina Grishina, she established the august design studio, whose project 10/960 – a set of ceramic dishes called “siwaki” – received the Must Have award. Olga teaches design at Poznan School of Form. She graduated from the Faculty of Ceramics at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts as well as the University of Fine Arts in Poznan. She learnt her practical skills while working for ceramic design studios in the UK, France, Denmark and Korea. Her artistic work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions in Poland and abroad. Thematically, it engages itself with questions of time, tradition, and artisanship, balancing at the border between art and design. For two years now, Olga has been actively supporting a dying-out artistic craft that the rustic pottery in Poland has become through her work with Ośrodek Garncarski in Medynia Głogowska. Her work is displayed in PURO Poznan, PURO Gdańsk, and PURO Kraków.
Olga's portrait by Irina Grishina