In her work, Alicja Wysocka combines fine art and design, inviting artists from different disciplines with a focus on collaborative handicrafts. The artist questions the concepts of authority and authorship and distances herself from the ways in which the art market and big brands operate, preferring instead to work with small communities. A few years ago, she founded the Ushirika Cooperative, which works in Europe and Africa.
Wysocka also works with existing organizations such as the Farmers’ Wives Associations. The first was established in 1966 Piaseczno as a form of mutual support for women in the rural community. In recent years, many local groups have been reactivated, and currently almost seven thousand groups are active throughout Poland, bringing together about 160 thousand women. They provide members with a sense of belonging and community and allow them to celebrate local history, culture, and tradition.
In 2017, the artist initiated a series of meetings with residents of small rural communities. They provided an excuse to spend time together, practice handicrafts, and learn various artistic techniques. Community activities took place in the villages of Dzieczewo, Budy, Saczkowce, Kuźnica, Nowogród, Paliwodzizna, and Macikowo. Wysocka invited other artists, curators, and theorists to join some of the meetings. The resulting event, Solstice, was co-organized in 2018 with Nowogród residents atop a local ancient mound, Grodzisko. The project was created in cooperation with Joanna Rajkowska.
In September 2020, an Equinox event took place in the same village, Nowogród in Golub-Dobrzyń, which is the Polish region with the largest concentration of Farmers’ Wives Association chapters. The Nowogród chapter of the association is currently the oldest functioning community of its kind in Poland. In 2017 it celebrated its 70th anniversary.
(b. 1985) – artist, she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg, and Vrije Universiteit in Brussels. Wysocka graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań with a traineeship with Mirosław Bałka. Her activities under the name Alpha Omega refer, among others, to the Omega Workshops established at the beginning of the 20th century in London, combining applied and fine arts, artists from various disciplines, handicraft, localism, and loyalty. Alpha Omega questions the notions of authority and authorship, and distances itself from the way the art market and big brands function (e.g. Ushirika Cooperative).
Rok powstania: 2017-2020
twine, acrylic paint, wood, textiles. Courtesy of the artist.