Polish artist brings talent to Stratford

Waldemar Bartkowski with his work (Picture: Waldemar Bartkowski)

Waldemar Bartkowski with his work (Picture: Waldemar Bartkowski) - Credit: Archant

A Polish dancer-turned artist has launched his first exhibition on English soil in Stratford.

Waldemar Bartkowski said he first visited Stratford Circus two year ago and thought it would be an ideal place to hang up some of his paintings.

So, last month, the artist came down to Stratford to display his artwork across the halls of the arts centre.

He said: “I am very excited, I have visited the Stratford Circus Arts Centre a few times and I think it is a brilliant place.

“When I visited first time, I just thought it was the kind of place where I would like to see my painting.

“I’ve chosen a variety of pieces to showcase but they are more related to dance.”

Waldemar who lives in northern France with his wife and children started painting in 1994 after receiving an injury at work.

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“Because of the injury I couldn’t move for about six weeks, I was thinking about what I could do and all of a sudden I started to make a mask and placed it on a canvas and that is how it all started really.”

The artist graduated from the National Academy of Dance in Poznan and was then hired as a dancer with Poznan’s Grand Theatre where he collaborated with the Polish choreographer Conrad Drzewiecki, director of the Polish Dance Theatre in Poznan.

He moved to France in 1981. He was hired as a dancer by the Opera de Lille under the artistic direction of Boris Tona, also participating in several dance festivals in Italy.

Waldemar now works as a professor as well as an artist in France.

He added: “I loved dancing and choreography and a lot of my paintings show this.

“However, my paintings also change over time and because of my background they have a very slavic feel to them and I believe that is what my pictures at the Stratford Circus Arts Centre shows.”

As well as painting, the talented father also loves engraving and sculpting and through all of his artistic talents, Waldemar always aims to show the importance of movement and dance in his work.

He will be returning to Stratford with his wife later this month to view the exhibition.

The work will be on display until October 31 and is free for all visitors. For more information, visit, stratford-circus.com