Agata Szymanek was born in 1990, she lives and works in Mysłowice, Poland. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, where she obtained a doctorate. She is also a certificate student at the New Centre for Research and Practice.
In her art practice, she focuses on the many phenomena and stimuli shaping human relationships with the rest of the animated world. Her most important goal is to encourage social sensitivity and learn how to feel and understand nature. As Lawrence Buell, one of the pioneers of eco-criticism, put it: with the environmental crisis comes a crisis of the imagination.
Her broader purpose is to dissect linguistic and cultural images of nature. Recently, she looks for ways to engage the viewer into her art practices through visual riddles and conceptual games implied into painting, self-publishing zines and workshop scenarios.
Agata Szymanek is an author of the research publication Spiritual Exercises published in 2020 by the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. The book contains interviews with artists on magical and esoteric motifs in their artworks, shedding new light on these topics on the Polish art scene.
Agata’s curatorial practice is connected to the project Pharmacist, developed in cooperation with the City Museum in Tychy. The project involves pharmacists invited to creative workshops and artists who focus on aspects of healing and care in their work. The planned exhibition will explore working conditions in pharmacies and attempt to restore a space in which nature comes together with knowledge to reach the cosmo-technical roots of this profession.
Agata Szymanek is also interested in educational activities. Her original classes are focused on developing and advancing critical and creative thinking. In 2020 and 2021 she taught the workshop Bees and the sword of contestation on 6th PhilosophyCon organized by the Silesian University, the workshop Balsamic Garden addressed to pharmacy employees, the Balance workshop at Gallery BWA in Katowice, and The creative workshop of virtual touch at Youth Biennial in Belgrade.
She has collaborated with institutions and galleries such as Stiftung Künstlerdorf (Schöppingen, DE), Youth Biennial (Belrgrade, SRB), Hornsey Town Hall Arts Center (London, UK), Christmas Steps Gallery (Bristol, UK), Dumbo Arts Festival (New York, USA), Zachęta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki (Warsaw), Bwa Awangarda (Wrocław, Poland), Galeria Bielska BWA (Bielsko-Biała, Poland), Rondo Sztuki (Katowice), Centre for the Meeting of Cultures (Lublin), Artists’ Colony (Gdańsk, Poland), Silesian Museum (Katowice, Poland), and City Museum (Tychy).