Skip to main content
Jewellery & Metal (MA)

Zofia Skoroszewska

Zofia Skoroszewska is a Polish-born artist and jewellery maker. 

She holds a BA from Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.

Her Fine Art and Textiles background informed her extensive interest in materiality and its influence on society and technology. Zofia’s practice explores the poetics of liminal space between the material and the digital. Taking inspiration from historical references, adolescent nostalgia and autoethnography, her work examines ideas and beliefs within material cultures and their correlation with notions prevalent in the information age. She sets out to blur the line between the physical and the immaterial and merge the emotional with the technological. Her works are informed by digital culture and are created using analogue, labour-intensive techniques. 

Zofia’s work has been shown in group exhibitions in The Netherlands and in the UK.

She lives and works in London.



Degree Details

School of Arts & HumanitiesJewellery & Metal (MA)

Show Location: Battersea campus: Dyson & Woo Buildings, Third floor

My work explores the space where technology becomes magical to most of us, offering us a play of the constantly shifting perceptions and deceptions we learn to grapple with as we navigate through life today. 

Coming from a country that transitioned from communism to capitalism, I grew up in confusing times of rapid economic growth marked by a need to indulge in ever-escalating consumerism. The screen functioned as a window through which we experienced this strange new world of objects that unfolded. Like many others of my generation, I found myself immersed in the digital. Years later, I joined the fate of many other Polish citizens and became a migrant. Being away, or rather not being anywhere, and at the same time being everywhere, strengthened the notion of this in-between existence. 

I’m fascinated by moments in time during which a material can transform an era, rewiring both individual minds and the collective unconscious. The screen is a point of departure for my practice. I cross the threshold and linger in between, dwelling nowhere. The foreign becomes native.

(In the Information Age, you are never home).


I look at the screen as a space, a border, an object. Why are we so drawn to it? Attracted by the glow, animated by the ever-shifting nature of liquid crystals, we melt, mesmerised by the magic of the spectacle. The ultra-tactile, seductive part conceals a tightly woven structure of potentially disturbing influences. I address these in my creations, hoping to find a grounding moment by turning to analogue, time-consuming labour as a response to the pace of late capitalism. My work sets out to present digital matter as embodied and tactile, connected to assemblages of agencies extending through time and space. 

Historically, touching an object and holding it close to the skin was linked with strengthening one’s belief. Today, mindful touch is a moment of grounding and response to the constant commodification of the sensorial by techno-capitalism. 


The objects I create are saturated with nostalgia, the liquid crystal rings speak to the hyper-individuality of adolescence. A USB flash drive, an object nearly obsolete in times of alternative data storage, and new connectors, embedded in stone with its memories already written. I turn to the juxtaposition of sleek, shiny surfaces with rough, recognisable substance. The objects are anchored in a vague historical context that addresses a pre-empirical understanding of matter. I tackle the inaccessibility of the in-between, making peace with the inability to access knowledge beyond the surface.



Colour change of liquid crystals in the rings captured while heating the stones.

Historically, some stones were believed to exhibit magical powers. Protective and healing properties of stones are described in lapidaries throughout millennia. According to medieval and early Renaissance beliefs, direct contact with the skin would allow the magical properties of the stones to benefit the wearer.  


Pre-empirical faith in the divine was constructed with a layering of inaccessible concepts. Technology, like amulets and religious objects, is regarded as a whole, as long as it works: it is constructed with opaque structures, to which most users, consumers and content creators do not have access.  The screen is the first threshold where technology becomes magical to most of us. The series of nine rings explores the juxtaposition of the faith placed in materials and the physicality of hardware.


Created using a sand-casting method, the rings are set with reversed cabochons which are composed of three layers: silicon, liquid crystals and lab-grown sapphire.



Medium:

Medium: Silicon, liquid crystal, lab-grown sapphire, gold vermeil

Size:

dimensions variable

As you click and browse, swipe and tap, your touch travels to solidify its trace for good, fossilised in the form of silicon chips inside the hard drives, stored inside warm and stuffy rooms of data centres.

A USB symbolises the past and the present, a nearly obsolete item for which you need connectors or alternative storage solutions. It manifests itself embedded in stone. Made of rose quartz, crystal quartz and mineral silicon, which is one of the most abundant elements in nature, it points to the continual presence of data. The flow of matter and data has been, is, and will be there.



Medium:

Rose quartz, crystal quartz, mineral silicon, shale rock

Size:

26 x 16 x 5cm

When the Pope visited a nearby town back in 1999, I kissed the TV screen.

Mesmerised by the sublime moving image that appeared on the surface of the old television, I found myself moving my lips closer and closer to the buzzing surface. In the hazy moments looking didn't seem enough, so I pressed my mouth against the ticking surface, leaving a flickering smudge as evidence.

The piece speaks of the melting of the screen and us melting with it while gazing at the glow. The sand is a play, or perhaps even a wish to realise how crumbling the structures that govern both the digital and the physical worlds are.

Historically, sapphires were deeply symbolic in nature. Connected to truth and truth-telling, they were worn by high officials and the clergy – those who were an integral part of the governing apparatus for millennia. A sapphire veil separated enlightenment from unknowing. 


Medium:

Lab-grown sapphire, sterling silver, sand

Size:

6 x 4 x 3cm
fragment of Study of The Object by Zbigniew Herbert from Selected Poems, translated by Czesław Miłosz and Peter Dale Scott, Penguin Modern European Poets, (Penguin, 1968)
the digital version of a publication containing macro and microscope pictures of silicon, liquid crystals, pixels, quartz, and optical calcite.

Historically, optical calcite was believed to aid the navigation of the ocean. Holding the stone against the light made it possible to find a way through smooth, uncharted territory. The stone exhibits a property known as optical birefringence, a type of light polarisation that produces an optical illusion, splitting the light in two. Birefringence is widely applied in optical prisms inside LCD displays.

Medium:

Optical calcite, paper, display enhancement film

Size:

dimensions variable

The Behrens Foundation Bursary