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13 november 2023 | Nieuws

Kamila Sipika: ‘I allow things to evolve in a natural way’

Kamila Sipika has recently returned from a trip to Poland and is busy working towards setting up her new studio in The Hague. She feels grateful to have found a new space where she may create. She is also busy applying for funding that will allow her to pursue her creative goals. “Having to write about my work and formulating an artistic vision is essential as it helps to prioritize and select my ideas and their realizations.”

Reality checks

Kamila, who is half Polish and half Brazilian, spent most of her life in Warsaw. She began her creative studies there as well, but soon recognized that, while she learned a lot, the approach of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw was not everything she was looking for. “Things are now changing very quickly in the cultural sector in Poland,” Kamila says, “but it sometimes happens to have a somewhat different approach to the art world.” Kamila entered the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague as part of the Erasmus exchange program. She arrived in 2019 and had just a little time to settle in and make friends when the COVID lockdown occurred. “When everything shut down, a lot of the people with whom I was studying, left. At the same time, because of the lockdown, I had no access to the studios and workshops where I used to work, thus my practice had to adjust to the changes. It was both challenging and encouraging.” For the time being, she intends to remain in the Netherlands. “There are many benefits to working here. Living abroad is not the easiest and there are many unexpected reality checks. However, opportunities and a vibrant cultural life can compensate that.”


‘My medium’

For many years Kamila attended the Warsaw music school, playing the classical guitar. “Music is still important to me. There was a moment when I focused on it more than on painting, but one year before I was due to enter university, I realized painting was really my medium, the thing I want to challenge myself with on a daily basis. It still happens that while painting, sound makes me visualize colors and vice versa.”

Right now Kamila is really absorbed in painting flowers. “It’s my way of paying homage to the beauty of many cultures. How can you say so much with something as simple as a flower? It perhaps also has to do with my mixed identity and with currently living in the Netherlands, where there’s a unique tradition of bulbs and cut flowers. I am very curious about referencing and cultivating folklore traditions and with that create my own still lifes.”

An art adventure

She just visited the village of Zalipie in the Krakow region, known as the ‘painted village’, as part of her research into traditional decorative motifs. She is dreaming of an art residency in São Paulo, which would also involve ethnographic research into folk crafts and decoration. She is convinced, however, that flowers are not merely decorative: “I want to provide it with context and different meanings.” She sees it all as a very personal project. “I really start with myself. I allow it to evolve in a natural way, developing from what I have access to.”
What if she won the Piket Art Prize? “I would want to invest it in expeditions and the research that I’ve already started. I didn’t expect the nomination. The fact that you’ve been noticed … I was so engaged in my work that I hardly believed it … Visiting certain places that have traditions relevant to my project, I see that as an art adventure, providing new perspectives.”

Read the article in Dutch. 

Text: Anna Beerens
Photo: Hessel Waalewijn