I’ll tell you what I live about this city. You think you know the place inside out and then, bang, it pulls a rabbit out of the hat and leaves you bamboozled. That happened to me in Bródno the other week. I mean no offence to the people that live there, but I’ve always just thought of it as a distant, dark dormitory composed of Legoland blocks that are covered in bird poo.
I’m wrong, and for that I apologize. What changed my find? Sylwia. Found in Park Bródnowski, she’s the work of the acclaimed Paweł Althamer. Created in cahoots with Grupa Nowolipie – an art group comprised of Multiple Sclerosis sufferers – the 4-tonne Sylwia is an arresting sight: a glimmering bronze nude with jets of water spurting from her nipples.
Added to the park in 2010, she’s just one of many sculptures and installations that pepper the park. There’s a Guardian Angel elevated on a pillar, an upside down teahouse, not to mention an ‘invisible sculpture’ that yep, you really can’t see. And let’s not forget Monika Sosnowska’s Krata: a piece inspired by the playgrounds once found in PRL Poland. The dogs, btw, aren’t part of the artwork, but keen recruits to the dog training classes that take place most weekends.
(words & photos: AW)