A Polish Tapestry Through Time
BY YVONNE KOWER | CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Spirited young dancers twist and turn like the beautiful intricate patterns of delicate lacework created by a master artisan’s touch
Graceful swaying hands gently imitate the weaving of fishing nets by elderly port-town villagers in a time gone by
Spinning skirts burst into a lively and breathtaking kaleidoscope of colours
A Polish Tapestry Through Time is a unique visual and emotional experience that connects the expression of Polish culture in Australia and New Zealand across different artistic disciplines. It is the collaboration of a diverse generation of talented artists celebrating Polish heritage through dance, music, song, literature, theatre, film and visual arts.
Stemming from age-old traditions, the festival of PolArt embodies the evolution of Polish culture in Australia – from its humble origins 50 years ago in Sydney as a vision of the Polish Women’s Auxiliary to its influence in modern Polish Australian communities today. The ‘father’ of Polish ethnography, Oskar Kolberg, catalogued traditional folklore for the benefit of future generations. PolArt Festivals too, chronicle the cultural diversity of Australian and New Zealand communities.
Drawing upon Polish textile traditions that developed through history, the festival entwines distinct artistic disciplines to tell a story – like threads of wool finely woven into an intricate tapestry. Unique patterns are created, taught, inherited, and handed down over generations – contributing to a distinctive and multi-layered identity. They incorporate shared ideas, and thus evolve over time. This can be seen in the vibrantly coloured costumes worn by the festival’s dancers which, to this day, reflect the same patterns used in handmade kilims originating centuries ago from the central regions of Lowicz, Opoczno and Sieradz – each deriving influence from each other, but distinct in their appearance.
Even the master composer of classical music himself, Frederic Chopin, was exposed to traditional folk music early in his youth, which later manifested in a plethora of Romantic Music that we still hear performed today.
Whether you are reconnecting with your heritage or discovering the Polish arts for the first time, PolArt Sydney 2022 will be your opportunity to fully experience and enjoy the richness and remarkable diversity of Polish culture.
PolArt Sydney 2022 welcomes you, as this Polish tapestry continues to weave its journey through time.