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    Human hand with bronze animal claws
    Claws, Kasia Garapich / Katarzyna Depta-Garapich, 2022, bronze, 9 cm x 3 cm x 3 cm, edition of 20

    "Claws" is a series of works based on the idea of a person turning into an animal. It consists of a set of 20 objects that can be used in a performative way. "Claws" were modelled on the cast of a brown bear (Ursus Arctos) claw taken directly from the specimen held at the Natural History Collection of the Tatra Museum in Zakopane, Poland. The outside of the extension is smooth, polished bronze and the inside is an imprint of my fingers.

    ©the artist

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    A white bear holding a child
    Family Album, Kasia Garapich / Katarzyna Depta-Garapich, 2021, drawing, black and white markers on giclée print, image 30 cm x 30 cm, paper 33 cm x 48 cm

    "Family Album" is an ongoing series of drawings, with over 20 images to date. The drawings are made in white paint marker over black and white photographs printed from scans of the negatives of photographs taken with a medium format camera by my father in the 70s during family trips to the mountains. I have restored the negatives and printed them on fine art paper. The drawn-in bear became a metaphor of transitional states between childhood and adulthood, dealing with the notion of loss and belonging. Eerie figures of white bears invite viewers to explore a space between what is dead and alive, between human and non-human, between human and animal.

    ©the artist

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    Sculpture of a human hand with animal claws
    Trophy, Kasia Garapich / Katarzyna Depta-Garapich, 2022, bronze, fur, 24 cm x 9 cm x 9 cm

    "Trophy" is a bronze cast of my hand with attached bear claws. It is a continuation of the work that began with "Claws", but it does not have a fully performative element. The sculpture is partially void but not large enough to fit the hand inside. The black fur that is protruding from it invites to be touched and stroked. My intention was to invite the viewers to fantasise about this object. Its furry addition aims to make it more approachable and warmer, to juxtapose the cold, heavy and threatening look of the hand equipped with sharp claws.

    ©the artist

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    Excursion, Kasia Garapich / Katarzyna Depta-Garapich, 2023, video, two channel, 8'53

    "Excursion" was undertaken as a performative action in October 2021 during which the "White Bear" climbed the highest and most daring mountain trail in the Polish High Tatras. During the performance, the creature slowly ascends the trail on all fours, making the impression of being wounded and sick, yet it goes up.

    ©the artist

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    Exhibition view, multi screen video installation
    Excursion, Kasia Garapich / Katarzyna Depta-Garapich, 2023, multi channel video installation, dimensions variable

    Multi channel video installation "Excursion" explores the theme of the brown bear in the Tatra Mountains in Poland through its popular culture alter ego represented by a 'white bear'. The 'white bear' refers to the mascot, a person dressed as a white bear that is providing entertainment for tourists on the main street of Zakopane, Poland while simultaneously sidelining the real bear.
    Viewers are invited to take part in the "Excursion" through adopting many points of view, watching the projections of the Tatra landscape and the climbing white creature.

    ©the artist

  6. Katarzyna Depta-Garapich – MA/MFA/PhD

Katarzyna Depta-Garapich – MA/MFA/PhD

Based in London

I have always been drawn to the strange, unusual stories. Throughout my childhood I was a frequent visitor to the mountainous region of Podhale in Southern Poland and avid listener to the local extraordinary tales told by my parents and my grandfather. The relationship between humans and non-human beings had a special place in these stories. The bear, the most dangerous and largest predator in our climatic zone, has traditionally been regarded as a transgressive creature, and its similarity to humans has been emphasised. The body of work created as part of my PhD uses the bear as a medium to dwell into family history, my own fears and anxieties and the future relationships we can form with the wilderness.