Paweł Grzelak on Creating ‘Forced Evolutions’

March 8, 2023
Symplasma A, 2023, Detail

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

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

Could you elaborate on your artistic methodology?

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

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

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

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

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

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