Zuzanna Salamon

Zuzanna Salamon
BA (Hons) Painting // Gray’s School of Art ’20

Zuzanna is a Polish-born artist. She recently relocated from Aberdeen to Italy, as part of the Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross Scholarship.

“My current studio practice focuses on depicting trees that have been moved and transplanted elsewhere which symbolises my dislocation from home and living in a foreign country. As someone living and traveling all across Europe I am experiencing a lot of cultures but none of them simultaneously.  

The reality of my works falls between the boundary of the real and imaginary world and fuses elements from both. This creates a poetic sensibility that often feels dreamlike. I am often staging, or adding to, already existing scenes to create my compositions. The metaphors and symbols that appear in my works come from my own experience of longing for a homeland and Slavic culture which consists of rituals involving worshipping the elemental grandeur of nature. Therefore, a symbolism of trees, cut roots, and fallen leaves often appear in my work as a repeatable concept that reflects on human life and emotions. In my work, trees and roots are often dramatically separated from each other, which acts as a figurative depiction of the experience of cultural displacement. This emotional consternation often leads to attempts to find and form new cultural connections. This is reflected in my practice by symbolic depictions of processes such as roots adapting to new soil and trees trying to grow new branches.

I often use dramatic lighting to suggest profound emotional disorientation, which is influenced by classical Eastern literature of writers such as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Adam Mickiewicz. Through my work, I explore my connection to home, but also my experience of living and understanding a foreign country.

Because of its immediacy, mark-making, and tonality, charcoal is currently my primary medium, which I use to build up large-scale drawings. Its natural origin and predisposition allows me to deeply participate in the drawing process, using my hands directly on the surface to smudge and form shapes. It is an intimate action that allows me to be close and get involved with the subject on a very practical and personal level. The medium of drawing helps me to break down language barriers and enables me to create works on this theme of dislocation which many people can relate to”.

Zuzanna’s work has been widely exhibited in Scotland, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. In addition to being selected for the John Kinross Scholarship, this year has also seen her win the Scottish Artists’ Benevolent Association Award and Spectra Catalyst Bursary – as well as having her work become part of the permanent displays of both the IX Chester Hotel and Café Harmony in Aberdeen.


I Am a Leaf Off of the Tree of My Parents First Kiss
Charcoal on paper
95 x 85 cm

I Have Roots Growing Down to the Water and Leaves Reaching Up the Sun
Charcoal on paper
100 x 160 cm


2016 – 2020
BA (Hons) Painting, Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen.

Erasmus Exchange, The Academy of Fine Arts, Prague, Czech Republic.


Degree Show, Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen (online).
Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.
132nd Annual Exhibition, Paisley Art Institute.
Coming Home, Aberdeen Artists Society, Aberdeen Art Gallery (online).
On the Table, MARRAM Arts (online).
Arts and Acts, Aberdeen (online).
Postcards from Home, Friends Grampian Hospitals Art Trust, Aberdeen.
Gray’s School of Art 4th Year Painting Exhibition, Edinburgh Palette.
Printmakers 016 (online)
Permanent display of works in IX Chester Hotel, Aberdeen.
Permanent display of works in Café Harmony, Aberdeen.

Absolwenci, Centrum Kultury Ślaskiej Zgoda, Świętochłowice, Poland.
Trouvaille, Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Artists Society Art Fair, Aberdeen Music Hall.
Gray’s Outlet, Belmont Film House, Aberdeen.
Letní klauzury AVU / Dny otevřených dveří, Academy of Fine Arts. Prague, Czech Republic.

5 Minutes of Being Lost, Artkwarium, Sosnowiec, Poland.
SMORG:ARTS: BORD. Belmont Film House, Aberdeen.
SNAP, Ruthrierston Community Centre, Abdeen.
Yet to be Titled, OT Projektarium, Berlin, Germany.

24, Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen.

Dyplomy, Zespoł Szkół Plastycznych Katowice, Poland.
3:3, Zespoł Szkół Plastycznych Katowice, Poland.

Solo Show, Galeria 1, Zespół Szkół Plastycznych, Katowice, Poland.

Bsolwenci, Szkola Podstawowa nr1, Świętochłowice, Poland.


RSA John Kinross Scholarship, Florence, Italy.


Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross Scholarship
Scottish Artists’ Benevolent Association Award
Spectra Catalyst Bursary

BGF & EY Painting Exhibition, 2nd Prize.

Nationwide review of drawings, paintings, and sculptures, 5th Place.
Scholarship of the Mayor of Świętochłowice
XVII Przeglad Sztuki Nieprofesjonalnej, 3rd Prize.

16th International Drawing Festival Zabrze, Honourable Prize.

Other Experience


RGU Zuzanna Salamon Ba (Hons) Painting, rgu.ac.uk/news.
Virtual Degree Show Zuzanna Salamon, YouTube RGU:TV.
Art Review:Gray’s School of Art Degree Show 2020, The Scotsman.

Student showcase is the reel deal at north-east university, Evening Express.

BGF and EY come together to celebrate Aberdeen’s artistic talent in new exhibition, Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce.

IX Ogólnopolski Przegląd z Rysunku Malarstwa i Rzeźby, ZSP Katowice.

Work Experience

Gray’s Mobile Art School, Volunteer (ongoing).
Peacock Visual Arts, Volunteer (ongoing)
Spectra Festival of Light. Volunteer Production Assistant.
TONIC Aberdeen Art Gallery Late, Volunteer.
LAAC (Sustaining Life as an Artist), 9 month program organized by Creative Scotland, participant (ongoing).

HAAN Design Pop-up Market, Volunteer.


Scottish Artists Society
Aberdeen Artists Society