One of the four works, I / FROWST, 2013, was included in group show Jerwood Encounters: Family Politics, 2013, and we also worked with Joanna through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards in 2015.
Joanna Piotrowska describes her black and white photographic series FROWST as ‘a documentation of domestic performances.’ Working closely with people she knows, Piotrowska set out to restage moments of spontaneous familial intimacy. ‘My aim was not to tell a story’, she explains, but rather to ‘evoke scattered associations of inertia, violence or being mentally overwhelmed’, accompanied by contradictory feelings of ‘intimacy, closeness, joy, protection, and tenderness.’
This contradiction is captured in the series’ title, a little-used English word that describes a sensation, place or situation that is both cosy and claustrophobic. Piotrowska is interested in the ways in which states of mind can be translated into a physical state. The gestures and postures captured in the images are based on her subjects’ family photographs, as well as techniques used in an alternative therapeutic method known as Family Constellation Therapy.