Malwina Cieślik – True Master of Miniature

Alina the Sculptor, the student of Xawery Dunikowski,

in a cattle wagon,

opens a window,

leans out and kisses the wind

closes a window mutilated by barbed wire.

(Tadeusz Różewicz, fragment from “Nożyk profesora”/ “The Professor’s Knife”)

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Winning miniature. The Kissing The Wind.

Such strong and full of sense words were the inspiration for Malwina Cieślik’s artwork “Kissing the Wind“. 

The artwork was created this year and took part in 7th International Biennale “The Art of Miniature” that took place in Ruse (held by Ruse Art Gallery), Bulgaria. The Biennale was organized under the slogan “Remembrance of the past”. The man of the honour and the inspiration for the Biennale’s topic became Tadeusz Różewicz and his bookThe Professor’s Knife”.

We are proud to announce and congratulate our talented artist Malwina Cieślik for being awarded by the jury of the Biennale with the highest award the Grand Prix.

“I often send works to various competitions, biennials, etc. This time I decided to look for something abroad. The International Biennale of Miniatures takes place in Częstochowa and I followed this path and found it in Bulgaria. I saw the rules of the competition and … I was pleasantly surprised! The topic surprised me. I knew I couldn’t let it go…” –  Malwina Cieślik.

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7th International Biennale at Ruse Art Gallery, Bulgaria
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7th International Biennale at Ruse Art Gallery, Bulgaria
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7th International Biennale at Ruse Art Gallery, Bulgaria

(We thank “Ruse Art Gallery” for the provided photo materials)

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Tadeusz Różewicz is a world-famous Polish writer, poet, and playwright. He was born in 1921, in Radomsko, shortly after Poland regained independence (1918),  the same city Malwina Cieslik was born in.

Tadeusz was a holocaust survivor. Second World War, communistic time in Poland, as well as Poland’s independence events, have placed a huge influence on writer’s poems and plays. 

Tadeusz Różewicz’s poetry, as well as topics he was bringing to life in his books, are very close to Malwina. They both were born in the same city. They both are people of the same country. And Malwina’s grandfather who survived in forced labor in Germany, brought many stories about War and Polish occupation. These stories created an even deeper connection between Malwina and Tadeusz Różewicz’s poetry.

Różewicz is regarded as “one of the most versatile and creative continuators of the Polish and international avant-garde”.

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Tadeusz Różewicz. Original sourche - Dziennik Zachodni at

The title of “The Professor’s Knife” by Tadeusz Różewicz came from the real item, the knife which belonged to the writer’s friend, professor of art history – Mieczysław Porębski.

Professor made the knife from a rusty barrel rim, which he had in the prison cell in a Nazi German concentration camp in Oświęcim. What was special about this knife, is that Mieczysław Porębski shared bread in the camp with it.

The cover of the poetry collection by Różewicz has a photo of an authentic camp knife.

In “The Professor’s Knife” Różewicz covers the subjects of extermination, war, oblivion and friendship.

Because Tadeusz Różewicz spoke out about communists of that time, the poetry is referred to as a kind of political manifest. Learn more about “The Professor’s Knife” here.

A fragment of the “The Professor’s Knife” book that became a basis for the „Kissing the Wind” miniature referrers to Alina Szaposznikow (sculptor, the student of Xawery Dunikowski). Alina Szaposznikow was sentenced to Auschwitz.

Alina Szapocznikow was born in 1926 in Kalisz, Poland. Died in 1973 in Paris. She is a Polish female sculptor with Jewish origin.

“Kissing the Wind” is a deep artwork. The colors and the mood of which perfectly aligned with the mood of the “The Professor’s Knife” book of poetry by Tadeusz Różewicz. 

Make sure to read our fresh and Exclusive Interview with Malwina Cieślik where she tells about all the ideas and connections in her winning miniature.

Malwina Cieslik Interview 970x250 Px

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