Scenery Designer. Born May 15, 1948 in Rybnik.
A scenery designer, graduate from Architecture Department of Kraków Polytechnic.
A scenery designer. Born May 15, 1948 in Rybnik.
Zofia de Ines-Lewczuk graduated from the Architecture Department of Krakow Polytechnic in 1972 and completed the Post Graduate Program in Scenery Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow three years later.
She made her professional debut in 1975, designing the costumes for Tadeusz Różewicz's Białe małżeństwo / Mariage Blanc directed by Kazimierz Braun at the Contemporary Theatre (Teatr Współczesny) in Wrocław. One year later at the same theatre, she devised the scenery and costumes for Braun's stagings of Cyprian Norwid's Kleopatra i Cezar / Cleopatra and Caesar and Maciej Słomczyński's Anna Liwia / Anna Livia based on James Joyce's writings. In 1977 she worked with Braun once again, providing designs for his production of Witold Gombrowicz's Operetka / Operetta.
She went on to work at the National Theatre with Adam Hanuszkiewicz, producing scenery and costumes for his productions of Aleksander Fredro's Mąż i żona / Husband and Wife (1977), Jean Racine's Phedre (1977) and Jan Kochanowski's Treny / Laments (1979). During the 1970s she also worked at the Słowacki Theatre in Krakow with director Jerzy Krasowski, designing scenery for his productions of Shakespeare's Hamlet (1978), Sławomir Mrożek's Policjanci / The Police (1978) and Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya (1979). The early 1980s witnessed her designing the visuals for Henryk Tomaszewski's productions at Wrocław's Pantomime Theatre (Wrocławski Teatr Pantomimy). The duo worked on such projects as Rycerze Króla Artura / King Arthur's Knights (1981), Syn Marnotrawny / The Prodigal Son (1984) and Akcja - Sen nocy letniej / Action - A Midsummer Night's Dream based on Shakespeare (1986). De Ines and Tomaszewski mounted productions at a number of other theatres, including some abroad. In 1981 they produced Cierpienie miłosne angielskiej kotki / The Applictions of an English Cat based on Balzac's work and Orfeusz i Eurydyka / Orpheus and Euridice based on the writings of Christopher Willibald Glück at the Theater der Stadt in Bonn. Zofia de Ines also designed a number of plays directed by Krzysztof Babicki, among them Zygmunt Krasiński's Irydion / Iridion at the Contemporary Theatre in Wrocław (1984), which was then revived at the Coastal Theatre (Teatr Wybrzeze) in Gdańsk (1986), and Tadeusz Miciński's Termopile polskie / Polish Thermopylae at the Stary Theatre in Krakow (1986). In 1988 she designed the scenery for Jerzy Jarocki's production of Nikolai Erdman's The Suicide at the Contemporary Theatre in Wrocław. She would go on to work with Jarocki on two other occasions, creating the costumes for his Non Stop Show, a production at the State Higher School of Theatre in Krakow based on the writings of Tadeusz Rozewicz (1991), and designing, jointly with Wojciech Jankowiak, scenery for the director's production of Heinrich von Kleist's Cathy of Heilbronn at Wrocław's Polish Theatre (Teatr Polski) (1994).
In Anna Livia, one of the first productions she designed, a closed space with undulating, seemingly dissolving walls was divided into two levels and several playing areas. The designer thus ably blended the two dimensions of the play - the real and unreal. In subsequent projects Zofia de Ines usually treated the stage sculpturally, adopting a kind of 'abbreviated' convention but retaining a certain liberty and breathing space. She frequently employed raised platforms or variations thereof, including platforms penetrating deep into the stage space, multi-level platforms and ramps. On many occasions she created a "dual" space on stage, her scenery simultaneously representing the interior of a room and the outside world, for instance. The artist claimed to be fascinated by architecture, the sacral kind above all, and contended that her theatre work was often inspired by architectural solutions she observed in churches.
"Neither the suggestion of space nor the illusion thereof interests me; rather, I like to build 'fortified' space - more meaningful, larger and deeper than suggested by the dimensions of the stage... I am fascinated by expansive, empty, undefined and mysterious space, where even its materiality is difficult to describe." ("Zofia de Ines. Idole perwersji" / "Zofia de Ines - Wayward Idols," Center of Polish Stage Design, Silesian Museum)
Zofia de Ines would usually combine her spare, static and subdued scenery with highly colorful costumes. She is viewed as a master costume designer and highly esteemed for her use of color and texture in costumes, preferring natural, rich fabrics in often bold and unusual combinations - silk with leather, wool with linen. She scavenges for old fabrics and clothing that she then dismantles and prepares for use in another form. De Ines scorns synthetic fabrics, which she sees as repulsive, ugly and detrimental to the impression of authenticity in costumes. The artist is also interested in fashion, both past and contemporary, and her theatrical costume designs rarely consist of purely historical costumes, more often transforming history by supplementing it with contemporary detail. De Ines often builds contemporary costumes around some authentic fragment, for example, a piece of old lace, and her approach to costumes and scenery is similarly syncretic, involving a blending of multiple aesthetics.
"In Krasiński's 'Iridion' this design syncretism was perhaps most interestingly manifested in the presence of several costume types," wrote Barbara Osterloff. "The title character, with his blind man's cane, wore an army greatcoat - a symbol of the wandering Polish soldier, lifted almost directly from the paintings of Jacek Malczewski. But there were also Roman tunics, something of the Orient in the actors' makeup, and clearly Romantic-era costumes. And all the drama's Imperial Roman settings were replaced by a single, universal space - a virtually empty, raised platform receding towards the back of the stage (...)." ("Polska plastyka teatralna. Ostatnia dekada" / "Polish Theatre Design - The Last Decade," eds. Barbara Osterloff, Agnieszka Koecher-Hensel, Warsaw, 1991)
In the 1990s Zofia de Ines worked most frequently with Krzysztof Zaleski, Krzysztof Nazar and Maciej Prus, designing productions of Juliusz Słowacki's Kordian at Warsaw's Dramatic Theatre (Teatr Dramatyczny) (1993), the same author's Fantazy at the Polish Theatre in Wrocław (1997), and a series of Shakespeare plays at Warsaw's Polish Theatre (Teatr Polski), including Richard III (1993), Love's Labours Lost (1994) and Julius Caesar (1996). The designer's credits also include scenery for a number of operas, including Krzysztof Penderecki's Ubu Król / Ubu Roi as staged by Nazar at the Opera and Operetta in Krakow (1993) and Charles Gounod's Faust, directed by Marek Weiss-Grzesiński at the Grand Theatre (Teatr Wielki) in Warsaw (1994).
Her most recent projects have included the costumes for Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto, staged by Henryk Baranowski at the Krakow Opera (2004), Michał Walczak's Smutna Królewna / The Sad Princess, directed by Paweł Aigner at Warsaw's Montownia Theatre (Teatr Montownia) (2004), and Przypadki pana von K. / The Adventures of Mr. von K., a production based on Heinrich von Kleist's works and directed by Ewa Wycichowska at the Polish Dance Theatre in Poznań (2005). In 2007, she designed the sets for the children's play "W krainie czarodziejskiego fletu / In the Land of the Magic Flute" an adaptation after Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute" directed by Beata Redo-Dobber at the Grand Theatre (Teatr Wielki) in Warsaw. In 2008, she designed the costumes for Marta Ptaszyńska's play "Magic Doremik" at the Grand Theatre (Teatr Wielki) in Warsaw.
Awards and distinctions:
1980 - 20Th Kalisz Theatre Meetings - honorable mention, scenery design for Moliere's Tartuffe directed by Marcel Kochańczyk at the Popular Theatre (Teatr Powszechny) in Warsaw
1993 - Golden Mask in Scenery Design for stage productions of Hans Christian Andersen's Słowik cesarza / The Emperor's Nightingale and Księżniczka na ziarnku grochu / The Princess and the Pea directed by Zofia Rudnicka at the Entertainment Theatre (Teatr Rozrywki) in Chorzów
1994 - 'Personality of the Season' - national theatre survey conducted by Program III of Polish State Radio
1996 - Cultural Activist Award of Merit
2002 - 1st Festival of European Classics in Rzeszów - Youth Jury Award for scenery designed for Nikolai Gogol's The Inspector General directed by Krzysztof Zaleski at Warsaw's Athenaeum Theatre (Teatr Ateneum)Author: Monika Mokrzycka-Pokora, March 2006.