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Krakow ceramic social mural - a unique activity that unites residents

13 of July '22

Can a mural made of ceramic tiles be created? By all means! Artists from the Mosaic Association organized an action during which a group, diverse in every way, painted on ceramic tiles, combining them into one cohesive mural patchwork.

The Mosaic Association organized a unique social and artistic event. Residents of Krakow, together with artists, created a unique mural composed of ceramic tiles, with the aim of showing the city and its character. It's a unique action, with a grassroots focus on the social activity of the residents of Krakow's Kozlowek.

About where the idea for such an action came from, how the mural was created, where it can be seen and what the Mosaic association is planning for the future, tells collective member Gabriela Wozniak.

Wiktor Bochenek
: Where did the idea for the ceramic mural form come from, and what technical challenges or advantages are behind it?

Gabriela Wozniak: The idea of a community mural has accompanied us for a long time. We wanted not only the artists, but also the local community to have the opportunity to create something aesthetically pleasing in the space where they live every day. On the other hand, the idea that it should not be, as in the assumption of the classic mural, a painting on the wall, was born directly during the planning of the project. The initiator was one of our coordinators Gabriela Wozniak, who has been involved with ceramics for many years and was responsible for the creative and creative part. The second coordinator of the project was Marcin Kaminski, who took care of the organizational side and the installation of the mural.

Proces montażu muralu

mural installation process

© Mosaic Association

Such an initiative turned out to be much more demanding than we had originally anticipated. The mural included less than a hundred ceramic tiles. Firing (sometimes double firing) such a large quantity proved to be a technical problem. We used as many as three kilns in different studios. In addition, when working with ceramics, it is impossible to fully control the material and plan the effect. We had to give ourselves room for the possibility that something wouldn't work out or wouldn't quite go our way. For the vast majority of participants, this was also their first exposure to engobe - the paint they used to create the paintings on the tiles, which involved guiding them through the process of creating and working with the material.

On the other hand, the pros are much more numerous than the problems that this realization posed for us. Certainly the fact that the mural is virtually indestructible. It will stay in the studio as long as it stands, or someone decides to get rid of it. It won't fade, it won't get dirty, rather it would be hard to paint over it too. In addition, it shines beautifully in the afternoon sunlight coming through the studio windows. It also attracts a lot more attention because of its unusual nature. The idea of mosaics is also directly related to our Association. We try to create one coherent whole out of many pieces. Such is our mural, such is our Group, which brings together diverse artists, and such is the community associated with the Youth Workshop in Kozlowka.

Proces fugowania muralu

the process of grouting the mural

© Mosaic Association

: Kozłówek today already has one mural trail. Is Mosaic thinking about more projects of this nature?

Gabriela: There is indeed already one mural trail in Kozlowek. In our case, it was originally meant to be a one-time initiative, but everyone who participated in the creation of the mural had a lot of fun and satisfaction. We don't rule out more ceramic or painting murals, but we try to direct our activities in as many possible directions as possible, use different fields of art or media, involve artists working in different areas, and address multiple communities. We don't like to be monothematic, but who knows. Maybe another ceramic mural will be created from under our hands.

Każdy z uczestników mógł wybrać sam, co chce namalować

Each participant could choose for himself what he wanted to paint

© Mosaic Association

: What did the public participation process look like? How diverse was the group of workshop participants?

Gabriela: About 40 people took part in the workshop, where one group was our artists - young people aged 18-29 active in the visual arts, and the other was the Krakow community, especially residents of the Kozlowek district, including children, teenagers and adults. Everyone had the same opportunity to paint several tiles according to their own invention using the same materials. By limiting ourselves to black outlines and different colored tiles, we obtained a coherent whole despite such different paintings and manual skills of the participants.

Uczestnicy projektu podczas tworzenia swoich mozaik

Project participants during the creation of their mosaics

© Mosaic Association

: Was there more of an artistic freedom when designing the mural, or did everyone focus on their vision?

Gabriela: While painting the tiles, everyone had a free hand. We were accompanied by the theme "City mosaic of diversity," while the interpretation was free. Of course, we showed the workshop participants the inspiration and they had the opportunity for continuous contact with Mosaic artists, who were happy to provide assistance whether creative or manual. Despite the given theme, there were really many diverse drawings, depicting the city from a multitude of perspectives.

: Where will the mural be viewed?

Gabriela: The mural is located at the Pracownia Młodych na Kozłówce (25 Na Kozłówce Street, Krakow) and can be seen during the studio's opening hours.

Wyniki projektu „Miasto mozaika różnorodności”

The results of the project "City a mosaic of diversity"

© Mosaic Association

: What are your plans for the future in the context of this form of performance?

Gabriela: Future plans for the Mosaic Association are many. We will certainly create more than one more mural, but we are currently working on other projects. We are also expanding our activities to a second city - Lodz. We will face many new challenges in the near future, but a painting mural, or a ceramic mural like this one, will certainly be close to our hearts, and it is not impossible that more will be created in the near future.

Wiktor: Thank you for the interview!

Prezentacja muralu

mural presentation

© Mosaic Association

interviewed Wiktor Bochenek

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