Zuzanna is a Fine Art artist currently based in Edinburgh. She graduated from Painting in Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, Scotland in 2020. Born in Katowice, Poland, she finished her secondary and high school education in the High School of Fine Art (Ogólnokształcąca Szkoła Sztuk Pięknych) with a specialisation in Silversmithing and a diploma in Painting and History of Art. Between January and June 2019 she was part of the painting studio of Marek Meduna at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. In June 2020 she was awarded the Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross Scholarship which allowed her to go on a research trip to Florence, Italy. She exhibited in many international group exhibitions including the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Society of British Artists and the New English Art Club in Mall Galleries, and the Royal Scottish Academy Annual exhibitions. In 2021 she was awarded the Hermione Hammond Drawing Award. Zuzanna's works can be found in private collections in Poland, Germany, Hong Kong, England, Scotland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Iceland, and the USA.
'Feathers recur in Zuzanna Salamon’s work, and like the cyclical drift of nature, they provide motif, symbol, and sign. At the same time as gesturing towards the artist’s interest in migration across cultures, they provide a unique challenge for her primary medium, charcoal, to render their textural specificity in a way that we experience as true. In ‘All birds forgot to sing’ what is impressive is the breadth of the scene and the minutiae of its contents: grass blades, the fringes of feathers, folds of a curtain, a flock of birds and their individual silhouettes, the sky and its shadings of light... all rendered in charcoal alone.
‘I try to grow new roots in the land I call foreign’ is another title evoking a mythic and a personal story. The realism with which the wooden floor in the background is rendered is a delight to see. Salamon’s paintings can be moody; they are always beautiful. In them trees and their fallen leaves also reoccur: the subject is growth, but in its complexity, interlocked as it is with questions of ritual, change, and the environment – nature, but as it is interwoven with meaning for human eyes.'
My current studio practice focuses on depicting trees that have been moved and transplanted elsewhere which symbolises my dislocation from home and living in a foreign country. As someone living and traveling all across Europe I am experiencing a lot of cultures but none of them simultaneously.
The reality of my works falls between the boundary of the real and imaginary world and fuses elements from both. This creates a poetic sensibility that often feels dreamlike. I am often staging or adding to, already existing scenes to create my compositions. The metaphors and symbols that appear in my works come from my own experience of longing for a homeland and Slavic culture which consists of rituals involving worshipping the elemental grandeur of nature. Therefore, the symbolism of trees cut roots, and fallen leaves often appear in my work as a repeatable concept that reflects on human life and emotions. In my work, trees and roots are often dramatically separated from each other, which acts as a figurative depiction of the experience of cultural displacement. This emotional consternation often leads to attempts to find and form new cultural connections. This is reflected in my practice by symbolic depictions of processes such as roots adapting to new soil and trees trying to grow new branches. I often use dramatic lighting to suggest profound emotional disorientation. Through my work, I explore my connection to home, but also my experience of living and understanding a foreign country.
Because of its immediacy, mark-making, and tonality, charcoal is currently my primary medium, which I use to build up large-scale drawings. Its natural origin and predisposition allow me to deeply participate in the drawing process, using my hands directly on the surface to smudge and form shapes. It is an intimate action that allows me to be close and get involved with the subject on a very practical and personal level. The medium of drawing helps me to break down language barriers and enables me to create works on this theme of dislocation which many people can relate to.