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Polish woman winner of ASUS ProArtist Awards in photography category!

Dobrawa Bies
10 of November '22

Aleksandra Slomka is a young photographer from Katowice, Poland, and an architect by profession, who recently won the international ASUS ProArtist Awards competition in the photography category. The challenge was to show just what the creative process is through photography. Her winning work "Between" was taken on the grounds of the Silesian Museum in Katowice and, as the author says, is an attempt to depict the difficulty of an artist's life - being between what is in the imagination and how to show and realize that thought.

This year's international ASUS ProArtist Awards competition was aimed at enthusiasts and professionals of all ages and served as a platform for sharing their art. The organizers envisioned four categories: photography, graphics, film and animation, and the main slogan was "Explore beyond the Limits." Participants were encouraged to push the limits ofcreativity and show the world as seen through their eyes.

Aleksandra Słomka NOSPR, Katowice, 2022 rok

From left: Aleksandra Slomka; photo by NOSPR in Katowice, Poland.

© Aleksandra Slomka

Pole with the Grand Prize!

In the photography category of the contest, one could submit works made over the course of a year, falling within the themes of landscape, portrait, still life, street, and any other type that expresses the creative ideas of the creator. The submitted works were evaluated by an international jury consisting of: Jordi Koalitic and Arnau Koalitic, Jazza, Benny Productions, Matti Haapoja, Ducky3D, Terry White, Siew Hong Lum, Jacob and Katie Schwartz, Ryogo Toyoda, Ann Cutting, Sean Adams, Ross LaManna, Mitch Yang, Winnie Fu, Jean Chuang.

Fotografia Between

The work "Between" received the Grand Prize in the photography category

© Aleksandra Slomka

The jury awarded the Grand Prize of $10,000 and, among other things, ASUS brand equipment to the work "Between" by Aleksandra Slomka from Poland. Among other things, the photograph was recognized for its beautiful framing and use of back light, as well as the composition of the figures and monochromatic scenery.

Using the light of the sunrise, penetrating through the buildings of the Silesian Museum in Katowice, like ideas in the mind of an artist, and the contrast of the man with the surroundings of modern architecture, I tried to create a mysterious atmosphere that stimulates the imagination, emphasizing new possibilities and the power of creative thinking, says the winner of the competition.

The second prize went to Kyaw Thet Sint Myanmar from Myanmar for his photograph entitled. "Life of Fisherman." The Audience Award also went to a photographer from Poland - Blazej Zalesinski for "Flying the Dog."

Strefa kultury, Katowice, 2022 rok Spodek i biurowce KTW, Katowice, 2022

from left: Culture Zone; spodek and KTW office buildings, Katowice.

© Aleksandra Slomka

interview with Aleksandra Slomka

Aleksandra Slomka is a photographer and fashion enthusiast who graduated with a bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Architecture in Gliwice, and after defending her engineering project and interning at several architectural offices, she decided to start working instead of continuing her studies.

In my work as an architect, I was interested in a lot of things, I was inspired, I wanted to design and read about other projects at the same time. I realized that photography, however, was something that would combine my interests. I discovered in myself a mission to convey what an artist, architect, fashion designer has to say with their work and photography allows me to be close to their work. Without deciding that I am going to be an architect or fashion designer, I can add something of my own to the interpretation of their work," says Alexandra.

Arena Gliwice Biblioteka Uniwersytecka, Wrocław, 2022 rok

from left: Arena Gliwice; University Library, Wroclaw.

© Aleksandra Slomka

Dobrawa Bies: You graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Silesian University of Technology. Please tell us a little about your period of study. How does the knowledge you gained influence, or sometimes hinder, your work as a photographer?

Aleksandra Slomka: Studying at the Faculty of Architecture seems to me to have been the best decision I made at the beginning of my professional path. I can already see how much they gave me in terms of composition, framing and a non-standard approach to photography. The knowledge of building construction comes in very handy when photographing architecture, I know what to focus on to make this photography interesting for the architect as well. I see a huge influence of what we learned in college, and what I learned in the drawing course, on how I create frames, how I position a person in a composition with the background.

Of course, only now do I see this influence of architecture on photography, it was not planned. The choice of studies itself was quite spontaneous. I, since childhood, liked to paint, was interested in art, creation, architecture too. My dad grows ornamental sunflowers and a lot of the agricultural machinery he needs for his work he makes himself. He reworks the machines, using aftermarket parts, making something he can't get in the store. His technical drawings inspired me, I wanted to be like him, not to see limitations, to do things that are not there.

In college, in addition to architectural design, we had such classes as visual techniques, for example. I still remember how the instructor of those classes, Wojciech Słodowy, praised my poster design, which included a photo of a building on Powstańców 43 Street in Katowice. How happy I was then! I remember that joy and pride as I first came up with the concept for this photo, then borrowed a camera from a friend, and finally delighted the instructor and other students with this photo. I then came home after class and asked my dad to buy me my own decent camera. That was the turning point for my photographic passion.

Rzeźba w parku, Katowice, 2022 rok  Dworzec kolejowy, Katowice, 2022 rok

From left: Sculpture in the park; Railway station, Katowice, 2022.

© Aleksandra Slomka

Dobrawa: And so began your adventure with professional photography! Now let's talk a little about the creative process. You are involved in architecture, fashion, as well as floristry - all these fields and their knowledge can be seen in your photographs. Where do you start and how do you choose your subjects?

Alexandra: It's true, I have many interests! I love fashion history and reading about inspiring architectural projects. I get a lot of pleasure from helping my dad with his work and creating flower compositions. Resting outdoors in contact with nature and physical fatigue works best for the creativity of the mind. In my work as a photographer, I try to start by finding a theme for a particular shoot, write down all the ideas that come to mind, create a moodboard and choose a location where I will shoot. I often combine themes, show fashion against architecture or product in the company of nature, I like how these worlds intermingle.

 Muzeum Śląskie, Katowice, 2022 rok Spodek i MCK, Katowice, 2022 rok

Silesian Museum; Spodek and MCK

© Aleksandra Slomka

Dobrawa: One of your architectural photographs, "Between," taken on the grounds of the Silesian Museum in Katowice, received the top prize in the ASUS ProArtist Awards, in the photography category. Please tell us more about the awarded project, and what such an award means to you. From such pragmatic matters - you have become more internationally recognized?

Alexandra: The "Between" project is to show through photography what an artist struggles with on a daily basis. It's to emphasize through the contrasting combination of a human being and the architecture of the Silesian Museum, which dominates the photograph, the difficulty of being between what is in the imagination of the creator and how to show it and make it real. Speaking the language of architects, "Between" is a visualization of how many questions we ask ourselves at the beginning of creating a new concept. The theme of the competition was to show the crossing of creativity barriers. When making a moodboard for my competition entry, the Silesian Museum building designed by Austrian studio Riegler Riewe Architekten immediately popped into my head. I wanted to take a photo at sunrise and catch the rays of light that would penetrate the glass blocks, like, ideas by the creator.

Above all, winning this competition helped me believe in my abilities even more. The moment when your work is appreciated by complete strangers, artists who see potential in you, is a feeling I think I will remember forever. I am at the beginning of my photographic career path, and I have already felt for some time that I should invest in new equipment that will give me more opportunities. Such a prize will allow me to start from a completely different level. I would have saved money for the camera I dreamed of for several years, and with this win I can develop right now and not feel that anything is blocking me. I'm also glad that I've met a lot of inspiring artists, with whom I'm in contact all the time, watching each other's progress and motivating each other.

Śląski Urząd Wojewódzki, Katowice, 2021 rok

Silesian Provincial Office, Katowice, 2021

© Aleksandra Slomka

Dobrawa: And what projects are you focusing on now? Are you thinking about going back to college, or do you have some completely different plans?

Aleksandra: I would like to develop, focusing mainly on fashion, architecture and product photography. These are the subjects that interest me the most and I like to surround myself with them. I also do other photography, I'm very happy when someone asks if I would do a wedding shoot, for example, because it means that they appreciate my aesthetics. In such situations, I think it's not a random choice. I appreciate how nice and inspiring people I can meet in this work, and I take great pleasure in recording those special, fleeting and beautiful moments for them. Thanks to the fact that I also do architectural photography, I feel that I am in touch with what I have learned in my studies and profession. In addition, my husband is just in the final graduate semester of his master's degree in architecture and we talk a lot about projects, we have friends who are architects. I' m happy that I can continue to be associated with this, adding something from myself to this world as well.

Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview!

Dobrawa Bies

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