A professional designer, photographer and artist with 35 years’ experience, Yaja is acclaimed for her artistic versatility and originality.
Her love of nature, which influences all her work, was irredeemably forged during an idyllic childhood immersed in the wonder and beauty of the Polish landscape. An ancient forest surrounding her home town and her grandparent’s sumptuous garden were her favourite playgrounds, and she learned to embroider, sew and knit at her grandmother’s knee. At just 10, she won a prestigious UNESCSO art prize for her woven tapestry, ‘Blossoming Apple Tree’.
A graduate of the Sydney College of the Arts, Yaja worked for years in Sydney as the Head of Graphics for SBS Television before relocating to the rugged, dramatically beautiful pearling town of Broome, on the Indian Ocean in Western Australia, where she ran a boutique gallery. It was here Yaja developed a passion for pearls and the Australian outback. The striking colours and textures of the Kimberley, with its bright red sand dunes, soaring rocky outcrops, infinite blue skies and magic sunsets, still influences her work today.
Yaja is among the privileged few who studied first-hand the ancient arts and crafts of Australia’s traditional owners in remote parts of Australia, learning about natural dyeing and weaving techniques from the Yolngu women in Arnhem Land and given the rare honour of being allowed to document, through photography, the lives and customs of the indigenous people of Ramingining in Australia's Northern Territory.
Yaja’s graphic photography has been exhibited throughout Europe, and her images of ancient Aboriginal weaving techniques were purchased by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art for its archive section. Selected images were also exhibited at the British Museum of London.
Now a resident of Sydney, Yaja draws on her valuable history, vast experience and deep connection to nature to inspire each unique creation, using native plants, leaves and flowers to hand-dye silk capes, shawls, scarves, beads and tops as she continues to focus her artist’s eye on nature-inspired themes through her photography and artwork.