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Włodzimierz Cygan
Please, wait for the image to be loaded! Włodzimierz Cygan

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I was born, and I have always lived, in Łódź, a city with very strong textile traditions, evidence of which is noticeable everywhere. While at secondary school (an art school), I sought the best language in which to express myself artistically. I came across textiles, which really moved me. This was in the 1970s, when Polish artists elevated this field of creative activity, which back then was associated with crafts rather, to the rank of art. It was a great time for the ‘Polish School of Textiles’, as the phenomenon was called in Lausanne; a version of the legendary biennale there was even presented in Warsaw (probably in 1971). Textiles seemed to be a field with no limits that was friendly to artists of different disciplines. This was why so many of them became involved in those times. (...)

      The field of today’s tapestry, defined as creative activity with the use of chosen materials and integration techniques, is very extensive, but not unlimited. Just as in any other field of art, the pursuit of the novel and the photogenic predominates in it. This leads things to age quickly, as they are pushed aside by others that are supposedly new. Forgotten and with no chance of a longer and deeper dialogue with the viewer (in the absence of which art – not just tapestry art – becomes unnecessary and a matter of indifference), these works do not encourage young artists to strive for lasting effect in their efforts, which might soon end up in a dustbin anyway. Is the fight between the new and the old inevitable? I attempt to answer this question with my works of art. I entitled one of my previous solo exhibitions ‘New Old Works’, wanting it to be not just a play on words.

      I have always thought that the concentration of three different roles – author of the idea, developer of the project, and producer of the final work – in one pair of hands has been one of the most important impulses for the renewal of tapestry as an artistic medium. Such a situation allows one to avoid the necessity of cooperation with a third party, and thus the necessity of translating the very first idea from its original language (e.g. the language of painting) to the another one, the language of textile. The end result has become more authentic, unique, and artistically individual. Even the technical imperfections could become an advantage and an inspiration for future works. (...)

      The answer to the question of why I entered into dialogue with a classical tapestry is a very simple one. It is that I loved the idea, am curious about the result, and am more than happy at the thought of meeting such an estimable group of artists. (…)