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24 January 2022

When a Childhood Endures in the Woods

24 January 2022 - Written by PhMuseum

In a Lair, Tomasz Kawecki undertakes a deeply personal journey in the Polish forest of his childhood. This series sensitively depicts the resonances of the author’s grandmother’s voice, and the ventures and enigmas that shaped his early years. 

The house in Witowice Dolne is my childhood home. There live my eyes and spirits collected so scrupulously in the first years of my life. The house stands next to a forest so green and virgin that it is impossible not to discover magical creatures there. Going back, I return to adventures and riddles never solved. I'm still searching for answers. A guide to this world was my grandma. She led me to the woods, called mushroom, stones and roots by their names. Some she anthropomorphised and took home with her. Through the years, the inside of the house has been filled to the brim with objects she collected. Grandma never threw anything out. Once she has brought something in, it remains with her forever. The house, together with her, grows old, everything there is subject to natural cycles.

When I was a child, we slept in the attic. Walls let in the wind carrying sounds of the outside. I had an impression I was sleeping in a tree house in the heart of a forest. The mountain wind sweeping through the room gave me shivers, but I wasn't afraid. We were safe, because protected by my grandma's charms. Enormous animal-resembling roots, bunches of plants and pebbles arranged on the stove kept their watch over us. They reconciled home space with dark woods.

Words and Pictures by Tomasz Kawecki.

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Tomasz Kawecki (b. 1993) is a Polish visual artist. He is enrolled at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava, Czech Republic, and studied in the Faculty of Architecture at the Krakow University of Technology. Interested in the anthropology of things in relation to the connections between people and objects, he draws inspiration for his works from various manifestations of the peculiarities of nature. Follow him on PhMuseum and Instagram.

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This feature is part of Story of the Week, a selection of relevant projects from our community handpicked by the PhMuseum curators.

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