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Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek, Enchanted Grove, 2022, installation


The Mignonette likes growing near railway tracks, tram lines, embankments, and heaps of rubble, covering the area near the ZNTKiM railway workshop in clumps. She is the unknown Queen of Przeróbka, accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting: Tansy and Goldenrods. Their kingdom is marked with yellow, a colour carrying several contradictions. On the one hand, it evokes the warmth of the sun and the joy of celebration. On the other, yellowed and filled with bile, it is also the colour of illness, venom, and a symbol of the Other.

Drawing from the district’s natural resources, Krysia Jędrzejewska-Szmek creates an enchanted grove in Przeróbka – a magical place filled with mystery and potential danger. This space is not defined by strictly marked borders but legends and rituals. It is a natural reserve of Przeróbka, where the artist hangs her plant-dyed pennants, which emanate their powers as they flap in the wind. The enchanted grove in Siennicka is a Land Incensed – with Tansy and Mugworts, described thus in the Magical Herbarium: “Mugworts removes the devil’s spirit if you incense the house with it. When censing the house with mugworts sprinkled with holy water, you protect it against lightning. Tansy incense makes children happy and keeps them healthy; tansy smoke is also helpful for nocnitsa demons. Boil the herb in the urine of one under the spell, and the magician will come and restore his health (Zielnik czarodziejski to jest zbiór przesądów o roślinach, J. Rostafiński, Kraków 1893).

Can the Mignonette, Tansy, Goldenrods and Mugworts open our eyes to how the non-human inhabitants of Przeróbka are shaping the district together with their human neighbours?

The following Przeróbka residents shared their interspecies stories with the artist: Jerzy Baca, Stanisław Domagała, Maciej Kostun, and Elżbieta Żmijewska. The conversations took place through a collaboration with the Architecture of Cultural Spaces at the Faculty of Architecture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk.


Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek is an artist and biologist whose creative practice is based on research. Her interests span the mutual relationships and tensions in interspecies relations. While cultivating a critical approach to science, the artist uses it as inspiration and looks for different kinds of knowledge. She is involved in critical plant studies. Jędrzejewska-Szmek is a member of the ZAKOLE Group, which looks for ways of experiencing and narrating areas such as marshes, bringing us closer to the perspective of their inhabitants.

Krystyna Jędrzejewska-Szmek, Enchanted Grove, 2022, installation

podwórko, ul. Siennicka 15/16, 19/20, 21/22

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Narracje #13