Jolanta Rejs (b. 1982 Szczytno, lives and works in Talki, Mazuria) previously studied at Goldsmiths, University of London (BA Hons) and Royal Academy Schools, Royal Academy of Arts (Postgraduate Diploma).

Artist statement 2021

   Photography was a starting point of my art practice. As the technology progressed into digital, so did my access to better photo equipment and computer programs that can enhance and manipulate photos into desired effect. Living in a commodified society, “society of a spectacle” (Guy Debord) that endeavours perfect selfies, dream landscapes, ideal picture of a food plate, the society with a desire for a perfect picture made me question all the layers of information that can be found in photographs. I wanted to see the bottom of it, its fundamental grid, the pixel, the dead end that immediately felt that if only was given a chance to go through human hands, it could have another life. And so the process of translating digital into analogue has begun. A search to find an answer to a question: “how much information, detail do we need to see, to process what we are looking at?” In the society driven by “more”, I decided to go “less” in the visual language and also as an artist. I minimized my workshop to a small number of tools and materials that I work with, biodegradable and reusable where possible. The process of printing from wood allowed this transformation and gave me all necessary means of expression to talk about the subjects that are important to me.

   After relocating to my homeland and settling in a rural part of Masuria in Poland, my practice became more informed by my experience of life here, its history, local community and its natural surroundings. The work “Die Liebe…” deals with region’s displaced populations and derelict heritage. It also works as a comment to a present political situation on the border with Belarus. Series “The Art of Disappearance” is a homage to extinct animals, however “The common birds” series are portraits of often overlooked birds that are still among us, but for how much longer? 

   In my practice, a clear reference to Old Masters can also be found, especially from the Renaissance. Albrecht Dürer is an endless source of inspiration. The theme of the apocalypse from “Apocalipsis cum figuris” returns regularly in my work. “Apocalypse in fragments (After AD 1511) No 17”, my take on the four horsemen of the apocalypse, is a response to Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions and closure of galleries. The artwork was printed on the weatherproof material and shown on the outside gallery wall during the lockdown. 

   In a project that I am working on at the moment, I am returning to a subject of the female portrait taken up on several occasions in my practice, for example in “Past-Present” from 2011. It is a triptych portraying women found in the background of group photographs. Although blurred and hardly visible in the photographs, I decided to give them a “front row seat” in my practice. Current political discourse about women’s rights in Poland caused my reaction in a form of portraits of women from different eras, real and fictional that somehow made an impact on who I am at the moment. 

Present and Future Exhibition

BWA Olsztyn, solo show, 2022


  • Grand Prix XII Quadrennial of Polish Woodcut and Linocut, 2019
  • Look at Her Recipient of The British Institution Award on Summer Exhibition 2012
  • The Celia Walker Award for Print 2011
  • Sir E.H. Landseer award

Selected Past Exhibition


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