top of page
  • Writer's pictureLukas Kroulik

Great Britain 2022

Here is a summer of post-lockdown liberation.

  • Writer's pictureLukas Kroulik

Chelsea Arts Club, London, Summer Group Exhibition 2022

"You can see me as a carefree child, born on 6th May 1923 in Male Svatonovice, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia. My father was Josef Uhlir, a significant local figure in public life, and an exact contemporary and neighbour of Czech novelist Karel Capek, who created an idyllic vision of childhood for generations of young Czech readers. You can read about it in his iconic Czech children's books."

“I kept this photo of me as a daring 20 year old. Imagine a Czech girl having to smile at the official camera in the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia in 1943! This is my stamped Nazi ID card photo which allowed me to stay in Eastern Bohemia, working on a local farm instead of being deported to slave labour factory work in Germany. That was a great new beginning back in 1943! Dressing up and looking good however bad things became was my small rebellion."

"Then came the stifling years of the Russians and Communism. We all needed a fantasy life to escape a little and fashion was one way through the many dark years of my adult life. We only had synthetic fabrics for the dresses I made. Cotton, linen and wool were luxuries for the Party bigwigs and their wives and girlfriends. I made everything from scratch. And I always made the most of what we had. Here I am baking in my kitchen in the year of the Velvet Revolution, when I turned 66."

"This is me at 85. A lot has changed. But look at my eyes. They show my zest for life throughout all those years. There were many ups and downs. You could worry about those. But my best advice for all of you is to just keep going."

Hana Hejnova (1923 – 2013)

'Elegant Czech Survivor' by Lukas Kroulik

Any process from the sale of my picture will be donated to Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

Chelsea Arts Club - Summer Group Exhibition 2022 image 'Elegant Czech Survivor' by Lukas Kroulik, nr. 153

'Elegant Czech Survivor' by Lukas Kroulik

I worked closely together with Hana as we created her final portrait, incorporating all of her own styling ideas.

These gold earrings were given to her by her father for christening, made to order and set in Czech granite from Turnov, near Prague. The lace collar was a gift from Hana's best friend for life, Libuse, who she met at her finishing school in Ceska Skalice. Libuse was the best at lace making and she gave Hana her pretty collar to make an everyday blouse or jumper stand out. Hana treasured her healthy signature look with glowing rosy cheeks, as well her carefully styled hair - which she called her "crown". I photographed her in a favourite armchair with a throw she had made together with the curtains in front of the bookcase.

Her identity, with her straight up posture, wide curious eyes and smile had never changed.

Celebrating the Elegant Czech Survivor at the Chelsea Arts Club, London


Český rozhlas Hradec Králové

Bohemia Retrospective - Photographic Exhibition

Media Coverage

  • Writer's pictureLukas Kroulik

Royal Academy of Arts

I am delighted to invite you to the 254th Summer Exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts #RASummer #lukaskroulik and introduce my image ‘Left Behind’ selected by distinguished judges Rana Begum RA and Niall McLaughlin MBE RA (artwork nr. 300 on display in the Large Weston Room).

Lukas Kroulik and his image 'Left Behind'.
Lukas Kroulik and his image 'Left Behind'.

Two of my three limited edition copies remain available following the first sale ahead of the Exhibition opening. The theme chosen by the Exhibition’s coordinator, Alison Wilding RA, is ‘Climate’.

Lukas Kroulik and his image 'Left Behind'.
Lukas Kroulik and his image 'Left Behind'.

In "Left Behind", which I exhibit here, context appears to be all: the work depicts

a sea of plastic refuse that has been repurposed by local communities to create

sustainable fish farms on the Brazilian coast near Florianopolis. The tranquillity of the

scene and the pattern of the fishing floats tells us about a harmonious reintegration

with nature. But the subjects have not disappeared: they are us, marvelling at this

peaceful image of hope emerging from the environmental tragedy of our times. "Left

Behind" stands for the horror of pollution by the profusion of rejected plastic objects;

also, for the way in which that horror can be left behind through its transformation by

engaged communities.

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition has been held every year without interruption

since 1769. As the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show, the

Summer Exhibition provides a unique platform for emerging and established artists to

showcase their works to an international audience, comprising a range of media from

painting and printmaking to photography, sculpture, architecture, and film.

bottom of page