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The catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition “Homing. Włodzimierz Puchalski” is an extraordinary portrait of one of the most famous Polish naturalists, a photographer and educator. A story about his life and work, about his working methods and exceptional sensitivity to the beauty of nature.
This catalogue introduces a person whose works in the communist era shaped the Polish idea of communing with nature. Puchalski published dozens of photo albums and books, made several dozen documentaries, and hosted radio and television programmes. Using all the channels available to him, he popularised knowledge about native fauna.
The catalogue features more than 100 photos by Puchalski as well as essays about the artist’s life, his connections with the Lviv school of photography, the sophisticated composition of his photographs and the methods of their making, as well as about the phenomenon of homing.
The featured photographs have been divided into several thematic sections. The “Selfie” section includes Puchalski’s self-portraits and portraits made in the years 1930–1970. “Lviv School of Photography” brings together photos from an exhibition organised in 1938 at the Lviv Industrial Museum, which boosted Puchalski popularity and professional recognition. The “Animals” section consists primarily of shots of birds beloved by the photographer. The last section, entitled “Homing”, consists of photos documenting research on homing.
With this publication we are hoping to bring back the memory of Puchalski to those who grew up looking at his photos and films. We want the story of his methods of observing and documenting nature to be an inspiration for younger generations.
“One of the recurring motifs in his writing was the belief that humans are the only species of vertebrates that transforms their natural environment into a completely alien and hostile environment. Humans do it out of their own free will, without any restraint.”
“Puchalski’s goal was to make people aware of the principles of the animal kingdom, so that it would not become a victim of competition from the world of humans, which in its development tries to dominate or even eliminate everything that does not serve modernisation.”