International Conference and Exhibition

The Department of Painting and Drawing – Wydział Malarstwa i Rysunku – from the University of Arts Im. Magdalena Abakanowicz in Poznan, along with the laboratory Narrative Language in Drawing, invite you to take part in the international project Voices on Visual Narrative.


The mentioned project has two separate portions: the first, under the shape of a conference and a second, in the form of an exhibition.

As for the conference, and as you might already know, it will take place in a virtual manner. Due to the actual state of the pandemic caused by COVID-19, its resolution shall be ultimately as a video. Therefore, each participant needs to record his/her speech individually and send it to a given address so later on we can put it together.

Reaching out to artists whose work are connected to a deeper sense of narrative explorations, we intend the conference to hold the unique visions of each participant when it comes to approaching their work and the storytelling procedures they look for in it.

The conference is oriented as a teaching strategy and showcase from which the listeners can appreciate the different angles on how to exploit narrative resources from each unique perspective. And, on the other hand, as a way of spreading the broad possibilities of using narrative language in plastic mediums and its impact in the artistic/scientific community.

The formula of the final product – the video – is premeditated as such, mostly due to the issues and problems we could find in a live version of the presentation. As each segment will be substituted in English, you can speak any language you find yourself more comfortable with.

The exact date is still unclear, but it surely will take place during the last days of May, and pending on the duration and overall number of participants, we will decide whether to divide it into two separate days or keep it only in one.

Nevertheless, in the date of the publication of the video, that will be promoted as a pre-recorded conference, we would also like to invite, those who choose to or are available, to a live Q&A portion in a virtual platform (this part should be entirely in English).

As a closure to the project, and as the second part of the action, we want to celebrate an exhibition with all the participants from the conference in order to point out the spectrum and diversity of narrative-focused artistic work. Unfortunately, we are unable to assure how this part will function, as for now in Poland we are experiencing a growth in the infected cases and museum, galleries or any other cultural establishment are being closed once more. We will do our best to focus our efforts into creating a physical exhibition but, as mentioned, it is something that escapes our competence and is still hard to know how the outcome will look like in two months. In case this version of the exhibition can’t be produced, the back-up plan is to celebrate it online, in one of our 3D galleries.

However, we will keep you informed adn updated of any future developments.


The project will be released, along with the conference and exhibition, during Poznan’s Art Week, which starts in mid-May. Participants must submit their segments along April so we can work with the video during the first half of May.

Remember that it would be interesting to include visual aid to reinforce the speech. So providing with any material about your work can be beneficial to have a plastic synchronicity within your lectures (from illustrations, comics, pages, paintings, drawings, videos, photos or anything you think fits).


The main subject of the conference is the personal strategy of each artist to confront their work when they are framing it in a narrative manner. From storytelling procedures, to individual artistic pursuits to plastic-theoretic issues; your speech can be centred in any of it, though the purpose is to keep it in touch with your work and what you develop as a visual artist. The participants will provide their own unique perspective when diving into narration through plastic and visual codes and how their work is affected, altered or handled by it. The whole conference aim is to show the broad variety and possibilities of working with a mindset connected to narrative or storytelling aspects.


This is not immovable, but a speech around 15-20 minutes would be the most suitable one. This is, of course, up to each speaker to decide.

As we will introduce English subtitles for everyone you can talk in whatever language you feel more comfortable at. The only part that would be in English would be the Q&A live portion.


In case you need a scheme to follow in order to approach your individual lectures here are some guidelines related to the topic that can be useful:

What do you understand for graphic narration?
How would you define your narrative intentions?
What are you most focused in in terms of storytelling procedures?
How would you define your plastic work?
What do you explore in your drawing now?
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
What do you think is the importance of visual codes in contemporary society?
What do you think is the importance of the narrative act and its outcome?
What are you working right now on?
What message would you think you are trying to convey as a plastic artist?

Speeches can take any form and shape, and though you can approach it in any desired manner. Please, send the recordings and all material to, along with any questions or doubts you may have to:

Once again, thank you for your involvment and participation.

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Poznań Art Week

PAW is an art festival inaugurated in 2017 in the capital of Wielkopolska in order to create a joint cultural program of public and private institutions operating in the field of visual arts.