Summer lovin’: deeply personal pics capture the essence of the Polish summer

The idea for the project was born during the lockdown when Joanna Wzorek was left pining for her homeland. Joanna Wzorek

A Kraków-born photographer has thrilled followers in her native Poland after creating a beautiful summer homage to her home country.

“I was stuck in London when I decided to create a body of work that could be interpreted as a postcard from Poland,” says the photographer.Joanna Wzorek

A graduate of photography at the University of the Arts London, Joanna Wzorek has lived in the UK for the past decade, carving a name for herself with credits for such titles as Vice UK and the British Journal of Photography.

“Let me tell you,” says Wzorek, “chicken aren’t the easiest subject to photograph!”Joanna Wzorek

Left pining for her country during the lockdowns, her Summer Farewell collection was directly born from a sentimental yearning to reconnect with the Poland of her youth.

“I took my camera wherever I went and spontaneously shot everything around me, from Małopolska to Pomorze,” she says.Joanna Wzorek

“Summer Farewell is a tribute to my motherland,” Wzorek tells TFN. “I was stuck in London when I decided to create a body of work that could be interpreted as a postcard from Poland.”

Striking in its vibrance, the resulting album feels gently nostalgic whilst emphasizing the energy and possibilities we associate with the season. Mixed also with black-and-white shots, the latter offer a rich play on light and shadow and hint towards more complex themes.

The project offers a distorted and romanticized vision of the photographer’s homeland.Joanna Wzorek

“When the restrictions were lifted I spent the summer travelling through Poland, photographing its landscape, people and farm animals,” continues Wzorek.

“I took my camera wherever I went and spontaneously shot everything around me, from Małopolska to Pomorze. The outcome is a very distorted and romanticized version of my country based upon childhood memories from previous summers spent in Poland.”

Mixed also with black-and-white shots, these offer a rich play on light and shadow.Joanna Wzorek

The photos are certain to strike a chord for those who have travelled the country during the peak of summer, and capture such typical scenes as chickens wandering strawberry orchards.

“I had a great deal of fun photographing the chickens in particular,” says Wzorek, “let me tell you they’re not the easiest thing in the world to shoot!”

Striking in its vibrance, the resulting album feels gently nostalgic whilst emphasizing the energy and possibilities we associate with the season.Joanna Wzorek

Throughout the project, affection for her homeland is strongly in evidence with the images often feeling like an intensely personal love letter to her nation.

“I think it reflect on the meaning of patriotism and tries to positively reclaim the meaning of the word,” says Wzorek.

“Art should be inclusive and I’d love it if my work was able to move whoever looks at it,” adds the photographer.Joanna Wzorek

“There isn’t any specifically targeted audience,” adds Wzorek. “I wouldn’t want my work to be exclusive to just one group.

“Art should be inclusive and I’d love it if my work was able to move whoever looks at it. As such, I hope that foreigners find something of value in it, not to mention Poles still living in Poland and those that have moved abroad.”

According to Wzorek, she hopes her images reclaim the concept of patriotism in the most positive of senses.Joanna Wzorek

Next up, the photographer has embarked on a project related to grief. “It’s something we all have to deal with at some stage in our lives,” says the photographer.

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To obtain a copy of Summer Farewell, contact the artist directly at: info@joannawzorek.com