Our newest installment in our Tastemaker series features Poland-based artists and plant lovers – Beata Malyska and Remek Zawadzki! We came across their Instagram and wanted to know more about their inspiration for incorporating plants into their living space. Check out our Q&A with Beata and Remek below!
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Occupation: Beata is a visual artist, Remek occupies himself with sounds
Favorite Plant: Beata: rose geranium, Remek: mirabelle plum tree
Beata: I work with visual arts such as photography and video. I graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Recently in my artistic work I focus on exploring the history of the war that happened in the 90s in the Balkans, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I work in music marketing company.
Remek: I deal with sound, record it, create it, destroy it, transform it. I produce music, record artists, do sound design, mix songs, write songs, score animations, play instruments. Whatever’s needed.
Together we made an exhibition of photography, video and sound (entitled „Nienaturalnie“). We created „Warsaw Sound Postcards“ – a series of ten playable vinyls with field recordings and photos of the places where the sound was recorded. We also made a short film about greenery in Warsaw for Goethe-Institut.
Can you share a little bit about your Instagram feed – @warsawjungle?
Warsaw Jungle is a platform of exchanging inspirations which unites enthusiasts of plants, photography and interior design. Most often we upload photographs made in our little one-room apartment, which is quite a challenge for creativity – it’s not easy to make a new picture in the same 24 square metres. We also present photos made in homes of our families, friends, as well as pictures sent to us by Warsaw dwellers. We want to show through our blog that living in city doesn’t mean losing contact with nature.
Beata: I‘m never fed up with vacuum cleaning.
Remek: My secret skill is keeping secrets.
What’s the best present you’ve given or received?
Beata: It was my dachshund, Maja. I received her when I was 9 years old, we spent together almost 15 years.
Remek: I’m not really a presents person, I’m happy being absent 😉
If your space was on fire, what’s the first thing you’d grab to save?
Beata: I hope it won’t! But if, I’d grab albums with photographs and portable disks (with photographs too). Without photographs, my memory would be lost. If I had more time, I would take plants. Photography and plants are my two loves.
Remek: Can’t decide. It’s everything or nothing, either you have the whole space, or you don’t. It’s the presence that makes the space important. Would be nice to catch a plant or two though, after all they are living organisms.
What’s on your to-do list today?
Beata: Working, learning Croatian, cooking, preparing photographs and texts for upcoming exhibitions and hyggelig. And of course – vacuuming!
Remek: Buying fruit and vegetables for half of the week, working on songs of some artists, organizing a rehearsal, preparing a sound installation for an upcoming exhibition.
What is your favorite plant and why?
Beata: I love a lemon scented geranium because of nice smell and good properties it has. I love to take a bath with a geranium oil.
Remek: I prefer the big wild ones, which are defined as trees. Preferably the ones with leaves rather than needles. Oaks are nice. They don’t care, and they won’t be bothered. I like their calmness. Of course the tropical ones are cool because some of them give nice fruit, or have spikes.
Do you have a “green thumb”?
Beata: In our one-room city-center apartment we really have a tiny jungle. Not all plants accommodated well to that conditions, I had to send some of them to my mum, but overall yes, I do have a green thumb.
Remek: I’m sure I do, I just always forget to use it.
Any plant care tips you can share?
Beata: First thing – don’t overwater the plants, second – talk to them and tell them compliments when they grow. And take photos of them, plants are living creatures, they grow, develop, you can compare how they do.
Remek: Don’t forget about taking care of the plants if you have any, that’s my tip for beginners.
What tops your houseplant wish list?
Beata: The list is long, and the space in the apartment limited. But in a bigger space, my first choice would be cooking banana. Then I would bake a banana cake!
Remek: A cooking banana would be nice. One step closer to the garden of Eden…
Where do you shop for plants?
Beata: The nicest way to get something new is to exchange the seedings with friends and family. Also sometimes I’d steal leaves that I’d later plant from for example stairways, or offices. A good place to go and buy plants are the wholesale stores at the outskirts of Warsaw.
Remek: I swear I had no idea that Beata steals plants. I have nothing to do with this!
Beata: I had problems with defining what my hobby is (which are visual arts, but this is also my occupation) until I’ve grown serious interest in plants, which are my real hobby.
Remek: If hobby is something that one does in one’s free time than my hobby is doing nothing, but I don’t have time for that.
Beata: Potatoes. Really! And my mum’s cake called karpatka (Polish Carpathian Mountain cream cake).
Remek: Peanut butter. Peanuts. Nuts.
Favorite weekend activity
Beata: Outdoor activities such as nordic walking, swimming in lakes, riding a bike.
Remek: Going deep into the forest. And listening to the frogs when it’s spring.
(All photos via Beata and Remek.)