Karina Marusińska, born in 1983 in Piotrków Trybunalski, artist and designer, ceramics designer, organizer of cultural event and initiator of social acitvities.
An artist and designer, ceramics designer, organizer of cultural event and initiator of social acitvities.
She is an assistant in Pracownia Projektowania Ceramiki Użytkowej II (run by Jan Drzewiecki and Mirosław Kociński) at the Ceramics Faculty, Akademia Sztuk Pięknych im. Eugeniusza Gepperta in Wrocław (from 2010). She started her artistic education in Państwowe Liceum Sztuk Pięknych in Katowice (1998-2003) and back then, she has already decided to specialise in ceramics. After high school graduation she recived the prize from the principal of PLSP for special accompliment in drawing, painting and for the best diploma, and the prize Ars Scientia Et Labor for the best alumnus of PLSP in Kielce in 2003. She studied ceramics and glass design at Ceramic Faculty at Akademia Sztuk Pięknych, Wrocław – she graduated in 2008, completing her diploma in prof. Jan Drzewiecki and prof. Przemysław Lasak studio.
She mastered her skills during international scholarships at the University Pais Valco in Bilbao, Spain (2007), in the Ceramics Institute in Guebwiller in France (2008) and during the post-graduate studies in Design management led by Szkoła Główna Handlowa and Instytut Wzornictwa Przemysłowego (2009-2010).
She is also a member of aritstic group Łuhuu!, formed in 2005 by four girls. Their main form of communication is performance, especially connected with interaction and contact with random audience – they focus on themes such as gender, identity issues and communication
Feautres of her works
She also belongs to the design group called Wzorowo, it was established in 2009 with her two friends, Agnieszka Bar and Agnieszka Kajper, Design graduates from Akademia Sztuk Pięknych in Wrocław. The group name refers to design, but also to the badges given to the model pupils (awarded for extraordinary achievements) in Polish schools, popular in the PRL period. By means of that, the designers want to relate to our past, Polish roots and identity. In their projects they are constantly looking for balance between art and design and they are striving for a different perspective of ceramics and glass.
Karina Marusińska works on the verge of design and art; some people even claim that she is trying to cover up the difference between these two fields. In her work we can find ceramic, abstract sculptural forms, which make use of beautiful contrasts between various ceramic materials such as grog clay, clay, engoby, but the majority of her products are made from porcelain – they either come from limited collections or they are completely unique items. She is fascinated with an ideology of recycling and ecology, she discovers new uses and purposes of products which are used up or discarded and they gain a new life thanks to her creative interference. They become completely new items and they become functional, but their main purpose is to interact with their user, e.g., make them think about excessive consumerism. Marusińska commented on one of her porcelain products quoting an excerpt from Jan Brzechwa’s poem called A Plate:
The plates remained silent,
Because they wondered what to think,
Whether a plate stands or lies,
And if there’s any rule,
Which one are we supposed to praise?
Knowing the ropes of work in the porcelain factory, she treats this material with reverence. Handles and other elements which were discarded because of minor defects are usually modified into liquid porcelain state; Marusińska uses them to create jewelry.
In 2007 she created a series of items called Pickles, which were often displayed at exhibitions. Industrial porcelain scraps were used according to their primary function – they remain handles, but they are attached to lids of regular jars. This is a contrastive juxtaposition of a trivial jar with a crafted, high class porcelain handle, sometimes even ornamented with gold – overall, it becomes a very amusing hybrid.
In 2008 she created another series, in which she showed that broken industrial items can undergo sophisticated recycling and gain its primary function. Inspired by these defects, the collection was called Damages. Cracking and all the defects were re-glazed (in order to remain safe for its users), then the objects were decorated with gold and mirrors.
The use of ornaments and decorations in order to cover up defects is well-known in the history of ceramic design. Dense cuts or hand-painted ornaments successfully disguised minor defects of the lower class material. For Marusińska, such a technological defect became an important element of her creative process. In 2008 in her work O!Wady, the collection name is a word pun, O!Wady! (meaning Oh!Defects) sounds exactly the same as Polish word owady (meaning insects), whereas ‘a fly’ is a common term in porcelain manufacture jargon, denoting such a discolouration, qualifying it as a product of a lower class or completely disqualifying it.
In her designs such defects transform into a hyperrealistic ornaments of a plate, imitating a real insect - a fly. Karina Marusińska impresses us with an enormous number of ideas, which give us a completely new perspective of objects.
In the line called Sorto from 2009, ornaments imitate product marks, for instance batch numbers or quality, which are added in the last stage of production, hence; the name of the project comes from sorting. Such industrial information, incomprehensible and unimportant for users was applied by means of transfer and became an integral part of her dishes.
In Semi-Finished Products from 2007, the artist uses porcelain semi-finished products which came from production line and each item is only a half of the proper form. Minor changes brought in by the designer provide us with an unlimited ways of use – for instance, half-jug can gain a new function, it can be used as a flower pot or a lamp bracket.
In the series called Cores from 2008, the artist intervenes even in the cycle of production, she 'bites' the brims of dishes before firing them. In some of these products her teeth marks were glided.
The series of cups called Jacups from 2009 is a subtle variation of ethnic motive. It includes a sculptural decoration in the middle part of the dish – its texture imitates natural sources such as wood, wicker, linen pleading. Apart from decorative purposes (a subtle play of light and shadow), it also makes holding of cups more comfortable.
Her collection Weeds, created in 2014 is an interesting example of what can be called a political statement. Inspired by Chinese history and the role of disidents opposing the government, Marusińska prepared a series of white and blue plates. Disidentgroups, called 'Weeds' became her source of inspiration for this project. Using traditional old Chinese ways of decorating porcelain, combined with a spray technique, the artist employs local plants as protagonists of her story. Each plate in her collection shows a different local plant, the whole series acting as if it were zielnik). Marusińska also took great care when it comes to a particular arrangement of her plates: put in ordered rows they are to ironically recall discipline and order of the Chinese party.
Next to ceramics, Marusińska also engages herself into more interdisciplinary works, spanning from anthropology, design and sociology. In 2015, with her project HUG she asks important questions about social exclusion. The artists interviews random participants, who are then asked to have their hand casts taken. The casts were then put on one of the bridges in Wroclaw, pushing passers by to engage with them in a very tactile way, while at the same time reflecting upon an important social issue.
From 2007 she actively participates in Stowarzyszenie Na Rzecz Wspierania Młodych Artystów Grawiton and in the association called Pożyteczni Producenci Piękna from 2008.
Her article Recykling potrzebą naszych czasów (Recycling is the need of our times) was published in Purpose – Przedsiębiorczość w kulturze (number 43/2008)
Author: Anna Maga, June 2013. Update, April 2016, AM.
Selected exhibitions and awards:
- 2015 - Zmiany, MD_S Gallery, Wrocław; Transdesign – Lazne, Oblastni Galerie Liberec, Czech Republic; What goes behind… Contemporary Polish Ceramic Design, London Design Festival – Tent London, Moderna, Helsinki Design Week Helsinki; Przepis na mały dizajn, Zukunftsvisionen festival, Goerlitz,
- 2014 - Polished Up. Design from Poland, Institute of Design Kielce; Connecting. Design from Poland, Polska in Between, 2. Istanbul Design Biennial; Forest and Meadow, Designgalleriet, Stockholm, Swinging Imagination, Musee du Four des Casseaux, Limoges; Rector’s Award of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw;
- 2013 - Błądzić jest rzeczą, ArtFest festival– BWA Galeria Miejska, Tarnów; Młode wrocławskie Szkło i Ceramika, Vojtecha Loffler Museum, Kosice; Warto Award nomination (visual arts); Las i łąka, Design Trade – Bella Center, Copenhagen; What’s for breakfast? Design from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia & Georgia,Writers’ House of Georgia, Tbilisi; Kaolin, JCI, Jingdezhen (2013); Polska Folk, Sofia Design Days, Bucarest; Everything Forever Now, MOCAK, Kraków;
- 2012 - Common Roots, Design Museum Holon; Przestrzeń pomiędzy nami, Kunsthaus, Wiesbaden; Un-polished 15, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucarest, Sfera prywatna, Mieszkanie Gepperta Gallery, Wrocław; Slow Design, Budapest Design Week; Un-polished 14, Korea Foundation Cultural Center Gallery, Seoul; Must Have From Poland, Milan Design Week, Ventura Lambrate, Milan; Un-polished 13, Centre Meridional de I'Architecture et de la Ville, Toulouse; Un-polished 12, Helsinki Design Capital 2012,Design Museum Helsinki; Design with a Conscious, Stockholm Design Week, Pop Up Store, NK, Stockholm;
- 2011 - Un-polished 11, Inno Design Tech Expo, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre; Un-polished 10, Centar za dizajn Hrvatske Gospodarske Komore, Zagreb; Un-polished 9, Polish Design Week,Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest; Un-polished (special edition), Paris Design Week, Docks en Seine – Paris; Un-polished 8 – Museum fur Angewandte Kunst, Cologne; Must have award, Lodz Design Festival for Jakubki; Talent Trójki award (visual arts)– Trójka Polish Radio, Warsaw (2011)