Erwin Sówka – born in 1936 in Giszowiec, lives and works in Katowice. A painter, since the mid-1950s associated with the group of amateur painters at the Wieczorek Coal Mine, better known as the Janowska Group.


Temple of nature, 1996
Snowy jewel, 1998
Rasa dance, 1996
Presents, 2009
Madanaka dancer, 2007
Avatar, 2012
oil on canvas and board
courtesy of the artist and Irma Sówka

Spirituality and mysticism have been within Erwin Sówka’s range of interests from the beginning due to his involvement with the Janowska Group, today mainly known as a group of painter-miners, but with its origins in the Janowska occultist group which had been operating since the 1930s, founded by Teofil Ociepka, who was interested in Theosophy. An undoubted influence which strengthened these interests was represented by the contacts which Sówka maintained with the Katowice underground and the Oneiron group (including Andrzej Urbanowicz and Henryk Waniek). The members of the group studied and incorporated into their works motifs associated with the religions of the East. Sówka himself was fascinated by Hinduism and its lively, vivid iconography. The exhibition presents a group of works representing various incarnations of Krishna and cosmic elements suggestive of New Age aesthetics.