European Prospects
Exploring European Identity through Photography

Blazej Marczak

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Blazej Marczak

Blazej Marczak

Biography

Błażej Marczak (b.1983) is a Polish photographer based in Scotland. His greater emphasis is on portraiture as well as on social landscapes mainly within the urban environment.
He is curious about people’s stories, history and about conditions we are living in.
In 2012 Błażej graduated with BA in Professional Photography from The University of Abertay and moved to Aberdeen, where he works on The Grey City.
In The Neighbours series he focuses on documenting the recent and historical immigration to Scotland.

In 2013, he was shortlisted for the Jill Todd Photographic Award for his project Domov, and awarded a monetary grant by The Arts Trust Scotland towards development of The Neighbours project.

Portfolio The Neighbours

The Neighbours portrait of contemporary and multicultural Scottish society. In today's well connected world anyone regardless the nationality, cultural or religious background can be our neighbour. Historical and modern factors had big influence on how our societies look today. It is important to have a record of the current processes and also to remember about the past events, which shaped our world. Considering current political climate, when benefits of the diverse society are being slowly disregarded I believe that it is important to remind ourselves about the significance of the cultural mosaic we are living in.

Reasons for migrations are different and vary from political ones, economical to those driven by a curiosity. My goal is to show this variety by meeting and photographing people, who moved from their countries of birth and settled down in Scotland. To highlight that migration, and multicultural societies are not a new occurrence I am also portraying individuals and families, whose ancestors came to Scotland many years ago.

We are all descendants of migrants or migrants ourselves and histories of all countries, even the most distant are bounded together by people who were, are and will be constantly on the move around the world.

Portfolio The Grey City

This is a story of Aberdeen,or rather my personal and subjective impressions of this northern city- bounded by two river mouths, the North Sea and green stretches of land. Some call it the Granite City, some others say it is silver. It is also known as the Energy Capital of Europe. But the label I think is the most accurate is the Grey City. Its ubiquitous landscape created by the silver granite and perfectly matching sky evokes an atmosphere of gloom. I can’t see its glamour described by others. It might have faded in the history, tarnished and covered by the patina of time. I can see how the past blends with the present. I am interested in juxtapositions between the natural and the man made and our relation to the landscape. What I am attracted by are the things that are seemingly commonplace, which others may see as the routine and mundane. I am a visitor here and I see it like an outsider would. Welcome to the Grey City that I know.

The project is on-going.

Portfolio Domov

A story about my partner’s family home in Slovakia. A story about the relationship with the past and present. The environment once so familiar to Zuzana, which she is still lucky to enjoy, will disappear forever once her grandparents are gone. Therefore, I wanted to preserve it in the photographs. Items and places can tell as much about us and our background as our words. For us, the emigrants who are no longer living in Eastern Europe, the ordinary places have become the extraordinary, symbols become decorations, photography immortalises. "Domov" means "Home" and it is my gift to Zuzana's family. Family photographs - a treasure to be kept.

The project is still on-going.

Publications

Exhibitions: 

2014 Frames 2014- Projecting International Photography, Contemporary Art Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

2013 Quality of Everyday Life, Sumerhall, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

2013 Annual Open Exhibition, The Society of Scottish Artists, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

2012 Free Range, Art&Design Show, The Old Truman Brewery, London, UK

2011 – Leonardo Da Vinci Mobility Project Exhibition, CAMPUS, Paris, France

 

Additional information: 

Marczak's work has been featured on Central StationScottish Art Blog and Plateform Magazine.

His project The Neighbours has been profiled on Foto8 and The GuardianThe Grey City was featured on Wojtek Wilczyk Blog Hiperrealizm