BIO

“Unfinished thoughts” by Dominika Durtan
Italian alabaster, marble

Dominika Durtan is a Montreal-based, multidisciplinary artist, art director and designer.

Born and raised in Poland, prior to coming to Canada she lived in New York City (working as a freelance art director), and most recently in Dubai (working as a designer for various magazines, amongst them Harper’s Bazaar Art and Time Out Dubai). In Dubai she also ran a private art atelier in the city’s historical Bastakiya district (2015).

Dominika Durtan has an extensive training in many forms of media: drawing, painting, computer graphics, photography, stone sculpting, ceramics and woodcarving. Her works have been featured in Europe, North America and the Middle East. She has done freelance illustration and design work for companies ranging from small businesses to large firms. Dominika holds a Master of Arts diploma (2006) from the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź, Poland, and has supplemented her education with international arts training.

Dominika Durtan is also a published author and illustrator. In 2014 she wrote a guide to Dubai for Polish travellers which was for the longest time a bestseller on publishers website Dubai – Travel Book.

The artist’s journey began in a small village in northeast Poland, known as Masuria, the “thousand lakes region”. Her roots in rural Poland gave her a deep connection and love for nature and a respect for the manual labour, both of which are reflected in her works.

Dominika’s grandfather was a skilled blacksmith and owned a wood workshop. Those skills were passed on to her father and then to her. She feels most at home working with chisels, carpenter planes and files. It is in her grandfather’s studio where she began to experiment with sculpture, learning the properties of natural materials and developing a respect for the tools and techniques. It was there that her curiosity and imagination were lit, and a life-long artistic journey began.

More recently Dominika Durtan picked up an interest in making jewellery. Following the tradition of the medieval journeymen, she has travelled the world to learn from local masters in the arts of gemmology, lapidary (stone cutting and polishing), stone-setting, and goldsmithing in Dubai, Antwerp, Sri Lanka, and her home country of Poland. Currently she attends studios at the École de Joaillerie de Montréal in order to establish her jewellery-making skills. She also works at the Michèle Lavoie sculpture atelier on wood and stone projects.

 

“Saturn” double ring by Dominika Durtan
Aquamarine, sapphires, silver, 14K gold

AWARDS (jewellery):

  • 2018 – Finalist of the Young Designers competition at The Munich Show, Germany
  • 2018 – First prize in debutant category, École de Joaillerie de Montréal, Canada
  • 2018 – Public Prize, Exhibition Gala at École de Joaillerie de Montréal, Canada
  • 2018 – Honorary mention at Artistar Jewels Exhibition (under an artistic alias: Izabela Chan), Milan, Italy 

EXHIBITIONS (art & jewellery):

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Check also Dominika Durtan’s proprietary brand of experimental jewellery: IZABELA CHAN™  and her travel blog: Natural Born Vagabond.