Michal Solarski May 29, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Poland.
Getting ready for Christmas Eve Dinner. Cieszyn, Poland 2010
Michal Solarski (b. 1977, Poland) is a London based photographer. His interest in documentary photography stems from his background in political studies, where he developed the passion to adapt his thoughts and observations of the world in a visual manner. Photography enabled him to capture situations and environments in a thought provoking way. After graduating in Poland with a Masters in Politics, Michal moved to London and studied at The London College of Communication where he earned an additional masters in Documentary Photography. He divides his professional career between advertising, documentary photography, traveling extensively between the UK and Eastern Europe where he produces the majority of his work. Most of his photography is strongly based on his own background and experiences, with a strong concentration on migration and memories.
About the Photograph:
“Ever since I visited my dying grandmother at the care home, I wanted to go back there with my camera. She spent the last days of her life in Cieszyn, it’s a beautiful town in southern Poland, just on the border with Czech Republic. The care home is called Boromeuszki – it took its name from the monastery that runs it. I was taking pictures there in the winter 2010/2011. This particular picture was taken on the 24th Dec 2010. After more then a year since she had a stroke, my parents were too tired to cope with the constant care she required. I remember that I felt great sadness looking at her as she lay in this massive gloomy room among other patients. It took me several years to came back. I found that life there is really slow and filled up with routines. Day after day passes in the same way. There is a time to sleep, a time to eat, a time to clean, and very little in between. Most of people who live there feel unwanted and neglected by their relatives. I spent two weeks there just walking around, talking to the residents, playing games, and watching television with them. For two weeks I shared their life. Those were two very emotional weeks of my life. For me, my time spent there was a tribute to my beloved grandmother.”