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The Riddle Of Silence

Iwona Woicka Zulawska
Botanical art & Water color paintings serie


Iwona Liliana Woicka-Żuławska (born 1972 in Kraków) is a Polish civil servant anddiplomat, since 2018 serving as an ambassador to Norway. Woicka-Żuławska has graduated from economics at the University of Warsaw. In 2008, she defended her doctorate at the SGH Warsaw School of Economics..
In 1997, she began her career at the Office of the Committee for European Integrationof Poland, being responsible for negotiations of Polish accestion to the European Union in the sphere of provision of services and information society. 
In January 2018 Woicka-Żuławska was nominated Poland ambassador to Norway.
She presented he letter of credence to the King Harald V of Norway on 15 March 2018.
Besides Polish, she speaks English, Spanish, Italian, and French languages

The Riddle Of Silence

           Curator:  Xia Hua

Iwona enjoys her other identity, which is being an artist. In the past 3 years in Norway,  she has been very busy with her diplomatic affairs. But she used almost all free time to complete her botanicals art. Especially during the epidemic period from 2020 until today. It was also a quite long and gloomy winter. Fortunately, Iwona collected a lot of materials in her sketchbook, like the observation of plants in the wilderness, sketches and taking notes & photographs. She painted those flowers or fruits in water color after worked. It was a great way to have a rest, Iwona says.

Iwona’s paintings and emotions have a certain echo with works of another Polish woman, poetess Wisława Szymborska. This connection is fascinating.

A one-sided relationship is developing quite well between you and me.
I know what a leaf, petal, kernel, cone, and stem are,
and I know what happens to you in April and December.

Though my curiosity is unrequited,
I gladly stoop for some of you,
and for others I crane my neck.

I have names for you:
maple, burdock, liverwort,
eather, juniper, mistletoe, and forget-me-not;
but you have none for me.

-The silence of plants  By Wisława Szymborska

In a sense, some expressions in their works are from the same Polish cultural background and origin. At the same time, the artists touched the height of the inner relationship between human beings and nature, with their personal perspective and feelings, as well as with a more simple and delicate language.

 “I like the Szymborska comparison very much. Not only because she was such a great artist, which anyone could want to aspire to, but also because she was such a humble and shy person, with the ability to look at the ordinary with extraordinary emotions and associations. And she had a huge sense of humor!” Iwona says.


We at Gallery F48, believe that Iwona’s painting is a way to show the love for nature. In a way it is a form of contemplation of the beauty of the kingdom of plants. Knowing more about her subject helps to better understand the flora of a place and its links with humankind. All portrayed plants are to be found in Norway and they were used in the past - or are still - for different purposes. It’s interesting that some of the plants were present in Norwegian folklore, but also in the Polish one, being a source of inspiration, for example for bunader's embroidery patterns or regional costumes of Poland. We can see them as a connection between Norwegian and Polish countryside.

We wouldn't run out of topics
for so much connects us.
The same star keeps us in reach.
We cast shadows according to the same laws.
Both of us at least try to know something,
each in our own way,
and even in what we don't know
there lies a resemblance.
-The silence of plants  By Wisława Szymborska


I hope this exhibition can arouse people's attention through the botanical art of Iwona, and discover the beauty of nature, the neglected simplicity and spirit of life.


Thank you!


Wislawa Szymborska
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1996

Born: 2 July 1923, Bnin (now Kórnik), Poland

Died: 1 February 2012, Kraków, Poland

Mrs, Iwona will donate the proceeds of the artwork to
the Nature Conservation Association (Naturvernforbundet).

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