”It’s A Penguin’s Life” is a 3-phase project that closed with a window installation during the Art Basel Fair 2015. Created by artist Anna Spakowska, the project is inspired by the idea of an oversized and self-supporting origami form, which would generate an interesting 3D shape. Research showed that the form of a penguin is the tallest and the most stable of all origami animal figures. Such a form innately possesses a beautiful folding mesh, lending itself to the subsequent creation of a colour composition, to be “painted with paper”.

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In the process of testing, penguins revealed their ability to gain a variety of different expressions just by slightly altering their folds. Also, when arranged together, they would create vibrant and expressive scenes, just like people. All this led to the idea of speech bubbles, which were purposefully left empty, in order to provoke a response from the viewer and to allow them to decide on the content.

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The second part of the project explored colour compositions and backgrounds, and caught them in 2D form on a smaller scale as a snapshots collection of other possible penguin adventures.

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Next the project’s evolution has found it’s inspiration in comic books, such as ‘Hulk’ and ‘Batman’, which are filled with dynamism and energy that is achieved through bold colours, rescaling and disproportion. Another inspiration revealed itself in the paintings of northern renaissance masters such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel. In their paintings scenes are extremely dense and comprise many backgrounds and stories occurring simultaneously, which causes the viewer’s eye to constantly move throughout the painting. This sparked the third part of the project – the window installation where the intention was to create this kind of energy and dynamism.

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Anna Spakowska

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