Since January 2018, I’ve been running the Sowa (Owl) Studio – an art studio located at Plac Ratuszowy 4/31 in Bielsko-Biała, Poland.
Protected by the Owl, a symbol of wisdom. The place is a creative work space and place of power, as well as a therapeutic space with unique decor and ubiquitous art. The place fosters the creation of symbolic and magical artwork, and hosts various events. So far, I have conducted eleven art workshops for adults and twelve cyclical events, such as the Music Owl and Women’s Circles. We have also hosted two exhibitions and a poetry evening.
The Musical Owl, held every month in the studio, is a series of cyclical jam sessions for Bielsko-Biała folk and ethnic instrumentalists. Together we create musical improvisations with instruments such as highlanders’ pipes, flutes, ocarinas, drums, rattles, castanets and mouth harps. It’s been known for a long time that music softens the mores. Music therapy restores health, affecting our emotional, physical and mental state. Live music makes it easier for us to calm down and relax. In the process of improvisation, while playing one instrument, we learn how to listen to the rest, achieving a harmony of sounds. Ethnic and folk instruments also make us feel more connected to the region in which we live. They are very simple instruments and it is quite easy to learn how to use them during the sessions.
Other cyclical events are Women’s Circles, modeled on the tradition of Farmers’ Wives’ Circles, in which women meet to share creative work related to their households, spend time together and exchange knowledge and experiences. During the Circles I meet with women of all ages and walks of life, who are at different stages of life and carry different baggages of experience. We listen to personal stories, support one another and learn how to better manage our lives. This is also a time for joint creative activities, discovering new talents, learning new exercises and artistic techniques.
The Owl Studio also hosted an exhibition of the work of Darek Marszałek and Martyna Borsewicz, both Bielsko-Biała artists. This was their first joint show, in which they presented their artistic achievements from the last few years. The show was called The Songs Of Yavallon, which is an imaginary land that the artists portray in their paintings.
The Space of Love was the exhibition made by Grzegorz Korzeniec, a Częstochowa artist, who takes us into the cosmic space of symbols and fractals. At the opening of his show, the artist performed live music with crystal bowls and pyramids, combined with his digital work.
Another interesting event was a poetry evening with Lucyna Brzozowska. The Bielsko-Biała poet read her latest poems to musical accompaniment from drums, bowls, flutes, sansula and mouth harps. The musicians performing that evening were participants in the Musical Owl meetings. The combination of poetry and music, as well as the ubiquitous art, created a beautiful sensual feast for the guests.
The studio also hosts various art workshops enabling the development of the imagination, the awakening of creativity and the ability to express oneself through art. Enriching itself with psychological content, such workshop art-making morphs into a sort of art therapy. This form of therapy is a spontaneous process of creating things that requires no experience or artistic skills from the participants.
The goals that can be achieved in this way include: regaining mental balance and discharging frustration, depression, stress and tension.
This form of self-expression enriches the inner life of a human being, develops the intellectual faculties and deepens the emotional content of one’s life. It is also involves learning new skills, developing talents, and strengthening imagination and creativity. Using this method with older people boosts their functioning on physical, mental and emotional levels.
Every now and then I take part in Open Door Days, during which I invite guests and show them around the studio, talking about art and what inspires me. In this way I can familiarize the Bielsko-Biała citizens with the work of an artist, show them my workshop, discuss the painting techniques I have chosen and share with them the process of creating a work of art.