Silesian Beskids Landscape Park: A Photographic Essay by Kasia Worpus-Wrońska
The Silesian Beskids Landscape Park lies in the Beskids Mountains, a part of the Outer Western Carpathians in Southern Silesia. The park, together with adjoining lands, has been incorporated into the Eastern Carpathians International Biosphere Reserve, which overlaps the convergent borders of Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The area’s biodiversity includes meadows with a number of rare Eastern Carpathian plants, bear, wolf, red deer, lynx and over 150 species of birds. The native beech trees were logged in the nineteenth century, followed by the logging of spruce, which grew much faster and, thus, became preferred by the lumber industry. With the advent of climate change, increased pollution and the intrusion of invasive insects, the beeches are again being harvested, this time with the goal of restoring balance in the ecosystem.
Inspired by the majesty of the Silesian Beskids, Kasia Worpus-Wro?ska has been photographing this region for several years. There is an essential classicism to Wro?ska’s landscape photography that connects to traditional Polish landscape photography, stretching back to the nineteenth-century work of Stanis?aw Bizański, Walery Eljasz Radzikowski, and Karol Beyer. A crucial difference between Wro?ska’s work and that of her historical predecessors is that she is creating images for the viewer to experience on the Internet. While the experience of viewing images online can be less visceral than looking at photographic prints, Wro?ska’s work is at once beautiful, descriptive, and aesthetic; the photographs not only document a particular place but also celebrate the formal elements of line, shape, light and shadow. At times, the artist includes human figures or fragments from human activity in the work, not to suggest that man should leave nature alone, but rather to show how these elements become a part of the landscape.
To view images as a slide show, please click on first image.
Kasia Worpus-Wro?ska is based in ?ód?, Poland. Professionally, she runs a small independent graphic design studio, Grafixpol, with her partner Jan Worpus-Budziejewski. Her photographs can be viewed on her website: www.katarzynaworpuswronska.com.