The catalog is a tangible result of the plein air photo session, which was organized by the Public Library in Książ Wielkopolski on April 25th and 26th, 2015. The invitations were delivered to shutterbugs and enthusiasts of artistic photography. The list of attendees included photographers from Września, Poznań, Wągrowiec, Środa Wielkopolska, Oborniki, Śrem, and Książ Wielkopolski, as well as a group of amateur photographers who are eager to begin their photographic adventure. This year’s open air session was dubbed GOGOLEWO 2015 – The Photogenic Province. Jan Kochanowski in his Saint John’s Eve Song wrote „Oh peaceful village, joyful village…”. The focal point of this year’s plein air session was the village itself, exemplified by Gogolewo, a small settlement located on the Warta river in the commune of Książ Wielkopolski that occupies the eastern borderland of the district of Śrem. A scenic, intriguing and thought-provoking place that brings you to a halt, snatching you from the arms of the everyday haste. Before shutter buttons started clicking, participants had to find their way around a place that turned out to be fascinating, astonishing, and shrouded in the mist of a legend. One might say it’s just a village, like thousands of others. May be, but if we open our eyes wide enough and look around for a while, we can be sure that a picturesque wooden church and the river, winding unhurriedly between massive embankments, will attract our attention, and so will the specific fauna and flora that is typical for the central catchment basin of the Warta river. Such magnificence made it worthwhile to stop for a moment and spend a gorgeous day with the villagers. Contrary to the dictionary definition, province is something more than just a part of the country that is not near the capital and large cities, and not even close to the disparaging perception of the province as an area that is meagerly civilized and hardly developed in terms of culture. Life in the province may seem to be suspended somewhere above the passing time, or does province have its own time flow? Is it a state of mind or the way people live their lives away from large cities? The organizers’ intention was the popularization of the region by showing it in an original and intriguing fashion, fueled by individual creations of the invited photographers. I’m very grateful to all of the involved who greatly contributed to the conception of our catalog. Appreciation shall also be expressed towards Anna B. Gregorczyk for presenting her artistic achievements, Paweł Walkowiak for telling a few words about Gogolewo, Jarosław Sobkowiak for helping us publish the catalog, Piotr Choryński for delighting our ears with music, and Dorota Jańczak for all the support she gave us, both in organizational and printing-related terms. I hope the plein air session was a chance to gain experience and fall in love with the tranquility of the rural riverside by preserving it on the film. I’d like to extend special thanks to the residents of Gogolewo. Thanks to their openness, we could freely observe the rural life, along with its open stretches of land, architecture, tradition, and – most importantly – people themselves. We had an opportunity to take a peek at the subjective vision of everyday life created by experienced photographers as well as photography enthusiasts. Well, see it for yourself. Here’s a fruit of our meeting – The Photogenic Province, a catalog summarizing the 2015 plein air session held in Gogolewo.

Marlena Grewling

Catalog download.pdf