Paweł Grzelak on Creating ‘Forced Evolutions’

Symplasma A, 2023, Detail

Leyla Fakhr: Pawel, it's hard not to get drawn deeply into your work. Are you creating an alternative world with these ?

Paweł Grzelak: I hope so! I had a clear backstory idea from the very start of working on Symplasma.

It's not really an alternative world, but rather an extension of ours. I put myself into the shoes of a scientist performing a "forced evolution" experiment on an imaginary underwater sponge species, photographed with an old film camera.

Symplasma A, 2023, Detail

Leyla Fakhr: Could you elaborate on your artistic methodology?

Paweł Grzelak: Being strongly drawn to underwater exploration footage, I often find myself spontaneously imagining deep-sea landscapes, animals, coral-like forms. Most of my art starts with a quick sketch done just before falling asleep. My creative peak always happens at night.

Technically speaking - I enjoy a mix of procedural form generation with a pinch of direct artistic control.

Shere A, 2023

Leyla Fakhr: In the context of the exhibition, how do you approach the theme of 'Imperfections’?

Paweł Grzelak: In nature, shapes often seem to be perfect at a first glance, mathematical even - like snowflakes.

But the closer you look, the more deviations from the formula you notice.

Every organism during its growth encounters various difficulties that sculpt it - available space, access to light, type of food or mechanical influence. All of them are distancing it from the ideal it would like to be.

Symplasma H, 2023, Detail

Leyla Fakhr: What direction do you envision your artistic practice taking in the future?

Paweł Grzelak: I will definitely continue getting inspired by scientific endeavors focused on finding new species.

My newest aim is to get my artworks out of the digital world. Symplasma collection is created with printing in mind. Experiment is the first in a series based on these creatures. I'm already planning the next ones, less illustrative, more abstract and focused on microscopic structures.

Symplasma N, 2023, Detail

Leyla Fakhr

Leyla Fakhr is Artistic Director at Verse. After working at the Tate for 8 years, she worked as an independent curator and producer across various projects internationally. During her time at Tate she was part of the acquisition team and worked on a number of collection displays including John Akomfrah, ‘The Unfinished Conversation’ and ‘Migrations, Journeys into British Art’. She is the editor...
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Paweł Grzelak

Paweł Grzelak is a 3D artist specializing in procedural, generative, and code-based art. With a passion for creating mesmerizing animations that blur the lines between reality and imagination, Paweł combines different characteristics from flora and fauna to bring his own unique creations to life. Drawing inspiration from the strange and wondrous creatures of the underwater world, mushrooms...
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