Cultural Capital podcast: Andrzej Klimowski

A conversation on Polish poster art and the nature of illustration with the Royal College of Art pro

In this episode of the Cultural Capital podcast, I talk to Andrzej Klimowski, professor of illustration at the Royal College of Art.

Born in London in 1949, Professor Klimowski studied at St Martins School of Art before enrolling at the Academy of Fine Art in Warsaw. As well as being an important poster and book-jacket designer, he has published several graphic novels; his most recent, Robot, based on stories by Stanisław Lem, was made in collaboration with Danusia Schejbal.

We met at the Ognisko club in Kensington to discuss the influence of Henryk Tomaszewski ("He was one of the most exciting and innovative poster designers to emerge from Poland"), poster art in eastern Europe ("[It] did have a vibrant life, a street life . . . particularly strong during the communist period") and his discipline.

Cultural Capital podcast: Andrzej Klimowski

Earlier episodes of the Cultural Capital podcast can be found here

Yo Zushi works for the New Statesman

Yo Zushi is a sub-editor of the New Statesman. His work as a musician is released by Eidola Records.

Val Doone/Getty Images
Show Hide image

“The Hole-Up”: a poem by Matthew Sweeney

“You could taste the raw / seagull you’d killed and plucked, / the mussels you’d dug from sand, / the jellyfish that wobbled in your / hands as you slobbered it.”

Lying on your mouth and nose
on the hot sand, you recall
a trip in a boat to the island –
the fat rats that skittered about
after god-knows-what dinner,
the chubby seals staring up,
the sudden realisation that a man
on the run had wintered there
while the soldiers scoured
the entire shoreline to no avail –
you knew now you had been him
out there. You could taste the raw
seagull you’d killed and plucked,
the mussels you’d dug from sand,
the jellyfish that wobbled in your
hands as you slobbered it.
You saw again that first flame
those rubbed stones woke in
the driftwood pile, and that rat
you grilled on a spar and found
delicious. Yes, you’d been that man,
and you had to admit now you
missed that time, that life,
though you were very glad you
had no memory of how it ended.


Matthew Sweeney’s Black Moon was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Prize. His latest collection is Inquisition Lane (Bloodaxe).

This article first appeared in the 21 July 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The English Revolt