Iwona Zając – a visual artist (b. 1971). Graduated from the Painting Department of the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts in 1999. In 2017 she obtained the title of doctor of art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. Zając pays attention to the location of a project – she starts with collecting detailed information and meets with the people to whom it will be directly or indirectly related. To avoid intrusive interventions, she develops strong relationships with people, including inviting them to cooperate. Her practice carries respect for hard labour, which determined the medium of her self-expression – murals require a lot of time and, at the same time, enormous care and attention.
Iwona Zając together with Mayor Mrs. Giota Poulou.
During the first research residency in Levadia, Iwona discovered an empty house by the River Erkyna on St. Stratigou Ioannou which inspired her to find out about the Levadian family that lived there. In January, Iwona saw this space for the first time and thought of the Edward Hopper painting “Sun in an empty room” and spent her time researching the lives of its past inhabitants. Iwona works in the field of mural painting and made a mural in an empty room in Levadia. She made a portrait of Zoza and her father in what was once their home. This house backs onto the River Erkyna but has no back wall and is exposed to the elements.
During the week in Levadia, Iwona also led an interactive stencil workshop. She invited citizens to an interactive workshop to make stencils of river-markers to print onto cotton products produced in hydro-powered factories in the region. All the stencils were inspired by the stories of the River Erkyna & Levadia that the artists heard during their first visit in January.