ProfiLab TIFF Open

Swimming lessons

curator: Roland Okoń | artist: Alicja Brodowicz

Alicja Brodowicz's intimate series of photographs tell the story
of her daughter's growing up.

The project tells a story of my daughter’s upbringing. It is a subjective recording of various moments of growing up, the time when a child stops being a child, and becomes an independent entity. The parent watching a child growing up is on the one hand filled with pride, but on the other with fear and anxiety. He or she has a painful awareness of passing time, and that certain moments will never happen again. The photos are accompanied by a poem by Ewa Świąc, entitled “the little one learns to swim”

“the little one learns to swim”

something remains: gills, fins, amphibian, warm-liking
tangled in intestines: almost a fish, a bit of a turtle, a bit of a root.
it may insist on being close to earth, or it may live in a stomach
among seaweed, with umbilical cord around wrists

the little one hopes that the desire to be with water is temporary
and then it goes back: sky, earth, four walls, ninety degrees
between. window, a tree behind the window, windowsill, table, bed
the little one believes that membrane between fingers can be bitten through with just teeth

Alicja Brodowicz


Alicja Brodowicz – born in Cracow, graduated from Utrecht University in Netherlands. Translator by trade. Currently a student at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. A winner of several photography awards: B&W Child Photo Competition, International Photography Awards, IRIS Awards, DEBUTS 2016. Deals with artistic photography, subjective documentary photography. Black and white photography is her preference.

Roland Okoń (b. 1973) – he studied architecture at the Wroclaw University of Technology and later at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He did not go on to pursue a career in architecture, but instead decided to devote his life to his greatest passion – photography. At one time he was also active in the music industry, but he eventually drifted away from this ambition and settled on graphic design. The search for inspiration led him to a fascination with photography, which remains the key area of his interest and efforts to this day; both professional and otherwise. Roland treats photography as a purely esthetic experience. His black and white photographs are characterized by a thoroughly considered sense of composition and proportion, as well as a painter’s approach to light. His photographs are influenced by classic photography, and contain echoes of fashion photography and subtle hints of pop culture. Many of his photographs possess a hypnotic element of tasteful eroticism, which naturally draws the viewer into an intimate imaginary world.  His photos have appeared on the covers of music albums and in music press, for example in “Metal Hammer”, “Tylko Rock”, “Top Guitar”, “Free Colours”, in magazines “Musli Magazine”, “Popcorn”, “Audio”, “Dobre Wnętrze”, “Estrada & Studio”, photographic magazines “Aparaty i fotografia cyfrowa”, as well as in nation-wide newspapers, such as “Gazeta Wyborcza”, “Polityka” and “Metro”.


Alicja Brodowicz
Swimming lessons / ProfiLab TIFF Open
Curator: Roland Okoń
1 – 11 September 2016
OKO Gallery
54/55 Św. Mikołaja Street, Wrocław

About exhibition (PDF)