Form, symmetry, space, lights and shadows: Anna Kruhelska designs wall installations, which play with light contrasts and come together in the repetitive patterns created by the folds and the cavities and its works. The result is fascinating and almost hypnotizing
Łódź is one of Poland’s main cities. A major textile centre in the 19th century, the city is now probably more known for its School of Cinematography, which is one of the oldest worldwide, where directors like Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski, Jerzy Skolimowski and Krysztof Zanussi were trained. This is where the artist and architect Anna Kruhelska, who has been clearly nourished and influenced by contemporary art, lives and works.
She worked at a large number of projects in Russia, Malaysia and the United Kingdom, with each of these projects having contributed to her idea of form, symmetry and space and providing her with an innovative practical knowledge.
Between illusion and reality
Inspired by minimalism, architectural composition, geometry and origami, Anna designs clean and sharp wall installations, which are often framed white on white. She draws inspiration from the world of architecture and minimalism, as well as from geometry, origami and the carving technique, which is so popular in Southern Poland. Her works of art are often displayed side by side, so that they often seem to flow from one frame to the other.
She has specialized in the creation of 3D wall reliefs in paper, which produce special light effects depending on the perspective from which one looks at them. The interaction between light and shadow, as well as the contrast effects overlapping with the repetitive patterns created by the folds and cavities of her works of art are at the very core of her work. This creates a kind of fascinating illusionistic and almost hypnotizing effect, which is accentuated by the sinuous effects of her “flow” artworks, which have sinuous lines that are both imaginary and real.
From fabric to paper
As we said, Anna studies architecture Łódź, Vienna and London. Over the last 14 years she has worked as an architect on a large range of projects and spent most of her time working on top-level residential buildings, 5-star hotels and luxury apartments: due to her work she travels a lot to Russia, United Kingdom and Malaysia. This is how she talks about this stage of her life: “I love my job, however at some point I realized I needed a secondary project, which should be more art-oriented and would have enabled me to express myself in a more creative way and explore ideas I find interesting”.
This way, she drew on her passions for minimalism, simplicity and plays of lights and shadows, created by working on textures and patterns. In an attempt to combine all these inspirations, she thus started experimenting the folds of fabrics, but after a few months she opts for paper, which poses limits, but only apparently – in fact, it offers plenty of freedom and creative possibilities. For her, this marked the beginning of a new era.
The birth of a creative project
Her work is long and challenging, yet it is highly satisfactory and multi-faceted: “Sometimes, I draw the inspiration for a work of art from a very simple form, like a hexagon; on other occasions from an interesting tessellation. I always begin in front of a computer screen: this is a very creative part, which makes me really happy. I design shapes after shapes, trying to identify repetitive patterns. Sometimes, I spend hours on an idea, I develop it without knowing what the final result will be. On other occasions, I have a very clear vision of what I want to obtain and I spend a lot of time to refine this particular vision. Sometimes a small change in the perspective of the shape has a tremendous impact on the way the entire work of art looks”.
The stage of computer-aided design is then followed by translation from 3D into 2D models, so as to make it possible to cut them from a flat sheet of paper: “Paper cutting is done by means of a cutting plotter; once the individual shapes are formed, they have to be folded and glued manually, with each relief being composed from 40 to 100 individual solids. All this might seem to be a heavy task, but in fact it is a particularly calming and relaxing activity, as if it were meditation – and I like this part of the creation of the work of art”.
After hours of folding and gluing, and when all the shapes are ready, the whole panel can eventually be assembled.
Paper: a therapeutic material, ideal for 3D objects
Artworks are made with white paper, which is resistant to light and does not contain any acids, says Anna. All pieces are bent and assembled by hand, with careful attention to details. Works of art are framed on glass with wooden frames, with wood preventing reflexes and filtrating UV rays.
Paper is particularly well suited to these artworks, as it is especially rigid when it is folded and enables me to work with the 3D forms I am interested in. You can make rather simple 3D surface models based on tessellation or tiling or create more fluid and complex forms with parametric modelling. Bending paper is a very relaxing activity, one that makes you forget your daily activities which are at times quite stressful.
About Anna Kruhelska
Anna Kruhelska is an artist and architect who lives and works in Łódź, Poland. She has worked as an architect, but at a given point in her life she decided to start a second activity focussing on paper. Her artworks are geometrical pictures with repetitive shapes that generates plays of light and shadows. This is a calming and relaxing activity, which creates almost hypnotizing visual effects.