During her time at the Nicolaus Copernicus University, Ewelina Kołakowska has worked hard to master the process of etching known as intaglio, where the lines to be printed are cut into a copper plate with a cutting tool called a burin, held in the hand. To print an intaglio plate, ink is dabbed into the recessed lines, and the plate is then rubbed with cloth to remove most of the surface ink, then a final smooth wipe is often done with paper, leaving ink in the incisions. Dampened paper is placed against the plate and covered by a blanket, so when pressed by the rolling press it is squeezed into the plate’s ink-filled grooves with uniform high pressure. The blanket is then lifted, revealing the paper and the printed image.
Kołakowska’s etchings use the stark incisions and contrasting light and dark to produce images with a disturbing edginess, her bodies – often headless or faceless – engaged in a tense dance of energy.