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Sharon Lockhart Podwórka 2009  Roger Sinek 25Cm
Sharon Lockhart Podwórka 2009  Roger Sinek 25Cm

Sharon Lockhart, Podwórka, 2009. Photo by Roger Sinek.

Podwórka (2009) takes the ubiquitous courtyards (Podwórka) in the Polish city of Łódź as a structural motif. Lockhart filmed groups of children as they effortlessly invent their own spaces of play within the existing architecture.

During this process, she befriended Milena, who would become a key figure in her life and who would inspire a series of other recent works. Lockhart has visited her on several occasions since 2009, taking her on holidays to Jarosław, Kraków and the beaches of Dębki.

The artist’s time in Poland has also led to extensive research on the history of children’s rights and on the influential pedagogue Janusz Korczak. For her new film, commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and FACT, Lockhart returned to Poland to work with Milena and a group of twelve adolescent girls from the Youth Center for Sociotherapy, an orphanage in the town of Rudzienko. On a nearby farm, through a series of workshops led by educator and philosopher Bartosz Przybył-Orłowski, the group developed exercises and activities designed to empower the authority of their own voice and perspective on the world.

Courtesy of the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin, Gladstone Gallery, New York/Brussels and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.