About the team

The exchange is curated by the Anglo-Polish art historian Dr Julia Griffin in collaboration with POSK Arts Director Elvira Olbrich, colleagues from the partner organizations and the Exchange academic advisor Professor Jerzy Kolankiewicz.

Granville-Skarbek Anglo-Polish Cultural Exchange: Virtual Museum and Research Hub

Dr Julia Griffin

Dr Julia Griffin (née Dudkiewicz) is a Courtauld-trained art historian and curator with a specialism in 19th and 20th-century British and Polish art, design and cultural history. As Young Poland Project Curator at the William Morris Gallery, she co-edited Young Poland. The Polish Arts and Crafts Movement, 1890-1918 (Lund Humphries, 2020; shortlisted for the 2022 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award, CAA), and co-curated the world’s first exhibition on the subject; Julia is the joint winner of the Association for Art History’s 2022 Curatorial Award for the best UK exhibition. Julia’s PhD explored Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris and Kelmscott Manor (University of the Arts London). As Principal Curator of the Guildhall Art Gallery (City of London’s corporate art collection), Julia designed the 15th Anniversary Rehang, launched in 2015, for which she was awarded Freedom of the City of London. She is a contributor to numerous publications on British and Polish art, including the Routledge Research Companion to William Morris (2020, ed. Florence Boos) and William Morris (2021, ed. Anna Mason, Thames & Hudson). She co-authored Tower Bridge. A Celebration of 120 Years (City of London, 2015).


Elvira Olbrich

Born in Poland in 1950. Arrived in the UK in 1982, and lived in London till 2019. Currently, a resident of Hampshire. Completed an MSc at Warsaw Main School of Economics (1978). Further higher education qualifications include the Postgraduate Diploma in Computing, North London University (1990), and DPI CIOL Chartered Institute of Linguists Diploma (2019). For a decade (1995-2005), served on the Events Committee of global charity, Children in Crisis. From 1998 – 2010, promoted contemporary Polish art by working with Christies Auction House in London (1998-2010). Since 2015, Co-Director of POSK Gallery, while also serving as a POSK Council member. As of 2021, Arts Director of POSK, and consequently serving on the institution’s Executive Board.

Professor Jerzy Kolankiewicz_photo

Prof. Kolankiewicz

Profesor Jerzy Kolankiewicz – Professor of Sociology with special reference to Central Europe, 1999–2011, now Emeritus, and Director, 2001–06, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. He was educated by the Salesians at Farnborough and then graduated from the University of Leeds in 1968, and has worked in the following positions: Research Fellow University of Essex (1969-71), Lecturer University College Swansea (1971-72, Lecturer University of Essex 1972-1999, Professor SSEES UCL (1999-2011), Director of SSEES UCL (2001-2006). He has held various consultancies during this time including Oxford Analytica, Unilever, ODA/DfID, and FCO. He has been awarded Commander’s Cross and Star, Order of Merit (Poland), 2004 and the Officer’s Cross, Order of Merit (Hungary). Professor Kolankiewicz was born in Trani Italy 1946, son of Major Józef and Janina Kolankiewicz. Married Danuta née Manthey, and has a son and a daughter.

Dr Marek Laskiewicz

Dr Marek Laskiewicz

Dr Marek Laskiewicz was born in London on the 9th November 1958 and educated at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Elstree. He then studied engineering at Queen Mary College, London University, subsequently working in Unilever. Marek switched to economics for his doctorate, a subject he recently lectured at the Polish University Abroad [PUNO]. Marek is also a historian, and now the Coordinator of the IPN London History Station. Marek has written books, held conferences and been on television contributing to historical and political debates. He runs several companies and is in several community organisations, notably Chairman of the Polish Social & Cultural Association [POSK]. He plans to transform POSK into a national institution, hence this all-important POSK Museum project. He lives in London and is married with one daughter.


Dr Marta de Zuniga

Dr Marta de Zuniga is director of the Polish Cultural Institute in London. She studied in Warsaw, Munich, Moscow and London and lectured at the Department of Journalism and Political Science at University of Warsaw. In her work as director of the PCI she focuses on developing partnerships and projects that highlight close cultural links between Poland and the UK as well as on showcasing the best of contemporary Polish culture to the British audiences.

Ania Mochlińska-Rakowicz

Ania Mochlińska-Rakowicz is an Art Director, Designer, and Paper Engineer, specialising in management, publishing, events, PR and design. Her background as a paper engineer and designer of pop-ups led her into publishing. For many years she had worked as Art Director in Egmont Children’s Books, Walker Books and Pan Macmillan. Her portfolio includes work for Random House, Eden Project, Pan Macmillan, Roar Publishing, Chronicle Books, Simon and Schuster, Bloomsbury. She is Ognisko’s Vice-Chairman and also sits on its Board of Directors. Ania is Ognisko’s Head of Events, and the Head of PR, Media and Marketing.

Theatre of Dreams: Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal. Anglo-Polish Cultural Exchange

Danusia Schejbal New Illustration

Prof. Andrzej Klimowski

Andrzej Klimowski was born in London in 1949. He studied sculpture and painting at St Martins School of Art and poster design under Professor Henryk Tomaszewski at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. In 1973-1980 he lived and worked in Poland designing posters for the Central State Film Distributors and for theatres and opera houses in Warsaw, Wroclaw, Opole and Lodz. He collaborated with the satirical magazine Szpilki, leading book publishers and the film studio SeMaFor in Lodz. On his return to England Klimowski designed book covers for publishers Faber&Faber, Penguin, Everyman Library and Oberon Books as well as regularly contributing illustrations for the Guardian newspaper. From 1983 he has taught at the Royal College of Art where he is now Emeritus Professor and he is a Visiting Lecturer at the Polish/Japanese Academy of Computer Techniques in Warsaw. Klimowski is the author of graphic novels published by Faber&Faber and, together with his wife Danusia Schejbal, for the publisher SelfMadeHero. Together they have made short films (Martwy cien / Dead Shadow for SeMaFor Studios in Lodz, 1980; and The Sphinx for the Irish Film Board in Dublin, 2006). His work can be found in several public collections including the National Museums in Warsaw and Poznan, Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design in New York and the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. The Polish quarterly cultural magazine Przekroj writes: ‘a beautiful wife, red wine and black ink keep Andrzej Klimowski, Emeritus Professor of the RCA in good health and in a permanent state of high tension’.

Danusia Schejbal

Danusia Schejbal was born in London and studied Fashion/Textiles at Ealing School of Art, London. In 1974 she won a British Council Scholarship to study stage design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw under Professor Jozef Szajna. Before leaving for Warsaw she met Andrzej Klimowski whilst designing costumes for A Mid Summer Night’s Dream (Cockpit Theatre, London 1972). Having completed her postgraduate studies, she worked for several major theatres in Poland before returning to the UK in 1980, where she designed sets and costumes for the Cherub Company whose award- winning production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Since then she has worked as a painter exhibiting in the UK and Europe including the Florence Biennale. In collaboration with Andrzej Klimowski she has worked on four graphic novels, The Master and Margarita (Bulgakov), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (R.L. Stevenson), Robot (S. Lem), and Behind the Curtain. Together they made two short films: Dead Shadow (Lodz,1980) and The Sphinx (Dublin 2006). Danusia is in the process of setting up a family-run design group producing designs and decorations for domestic interiors.

Jeff Willis

Jeff Willis (FRCA FISTD FHEA MA(RCA) is a Graphic Designer; a graduate of the Royal College of Art and the former Deputy Head of Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art in London. A founding partner of Perks Willis Design with his wife Dr Sue Perks they built a business that blends together two disciplines: information design and graphic design. The design practice has achieved a profile for working with museums and socially motivated organisations. Perks Willis Design have produced three major exhibitions for the Natural History Museum in London. For English Heritage Outreach they have been project partners in numerous projects since 2004. As a practice they have worked with Exhibition Plus, The British Academy and Southampton City Council. Jeff is a long-term colleague and collaborator with Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schebal including joint projects with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the National Museum in Poznan and the Polish Cultural Institute.