Izabela Ewa Ołdak is an artist of fine arts & art curator. She received MFA at the Dutch Art Institute, ArtEZ, Enschede, the Netherlands (2008-2010) and MA at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan in Poland (2002-2007).
For her artistic achievements she has been awarded several scholarships: from the City Council of Bielsko-Biała (PL), 2011; the Stokroos Foundation in Utrecht (NL), 2010; the Polish Ministry of Culture, 2006/2007; the Socrates/Erasmus from Nottingham Trent University (GB), 2006/2007; and the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan (PL), 2005/2006.
During the 39th Painting Biennial (Bielska Jesień 2009) in Bielsko-Biała, Poland she was honoured with an Audience Award for Diary painting.
She has participated in tens of solo and group exhibitions, Artist in Residence programs, workshops and lecture presentations in Poland and abroad.
Izabela works as well as a freelance curator, organising exhibitions, workshops, outdoor art projects. She is also an initiator and a curator of “Beyond Time/ Poza czasem” international Artist in Residence program, made in collaboration with Bielska BWA Gallery in Bielsko-Biała in Poland (2011-2017).
She expresses herself in painting, site- specific art, performance and video art. Recently she has also started to make tattoos and paint shamanic drums.
Her work combines exquisite craftsmanship with conceptual and spiritual inquiries inspired by nature, history of particular place, mythology, magic, folklore, dreams and patterns.
Izabela is an enthusiast of shamanic and esoteric practices both in theory and in practice. She is a follower of living in harmony with Nature and gaining knowledge through contact with the spiritual side of it. She uses this knowledge to lead a Circle Gatherings, drum journeys and the Sweat Lodge Ceremonies.
Her shamanic teachers are: Eva Ruprechtsberger and Khakas shaman Walery Topojew.
On a daily basis she runs an art space Portal Mocy in Maków Podhalański in Poland.
I live to create, I create to live.
In my artistic research and practice I am referring to the roots of Arts, which I see in transcendental experiences and magic.
There were times when human life was connected to the natural environment and when the Arts were considered spiritual, magical, a secret language used in many rituals and rites.
It has been associated with the exploration of the soul and the secrets of Nature, the beginning of taming the world, and to personalize and spiritualize the human as an individual.
I believe that with knowledge of the past, comes understanding of the present. Therefore in order to discover the essence of creation and the primal role of an artist I found it necessary to go back to its roots. – IEO