The Totemy sculptures symbolise the relationship between humans and the forces of nature, which were once perceived as mystical ancestors. The different proportions, colours and hand painted patterns reflect the results of research and provide statistics on the condition of the environment. The result is a physical visualisation of the scale of timber felling, air pollution, overexploitation of fisheries, flooding and more. Through bright colours and patterned aesthetics, the giant totems draw passersby near to engage and interact. A QR code has been placed on each totem pole for scanning, bringing viewers to specific scientific reports and statistics through their smartphone. Each of the totem poles refers to a different environmental issue.

Totemy, Poznań, Poland

The Totemy series is a project by Alicja Biala. Biala is a London-based, Polish artist, whose work draws on pagan and folkloric threads of the past to probe the conditions of today and the questions of tomorrow.

Work in progress. Alicja Biala with architect Iwo Borkowicz, Poznań studio 2019

The Totemy project is an ongoing series, with new installations being continuously added.

The different sculptures were solely made possible by the hard work, clever thoughts, and generous support of many individuals across multiple countries. These collaborators include:

Iwo Borkowicz from JEJU Studio, Vox Artis Foundation, Estrada Poznańska, City of Poznań, Concordia Design, Liverpool Biennial team, Liverpool Bid Company, Arup, architect Ola Sobczyk, Castle Fine Arts Foundry, Faulds Creative Works, Matt Nightingale and The Forest of Dean Sculpture Park team, Liverpool John Moores University, curator Paulina Almeida and many many other friends, family and students.

The Forest of Dean, Sculpture Park, UK

Merseyside totems, Liverpool, UK

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