Tragedy of WWII: Exile and Two Polands | 1939 - mid 1950s

Artist and Theatre Designer Danusia Schejbal

Monday 17 October 2022

(born in London)

Danusia Schejbal (and Andrzej Klimowski), London Creatives Polish Roots 2009. Photo by Grzegorz Lepiarz.

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 Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts under Professor Józef Szajna. Before leaving for Warsaw, she met Andrzej Klimowski whilst designing costumes for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The 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 London, 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 her husband Andrzej Klimowski, she has worked on four graphic novels, published by SelfMadeHero – The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov (2008), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson (2009), Robot by Stanisław Lem (2011), and the autobiographical Behind the Curtain (2015). Together they made two short films: Dead Shadow/Martwy Cień (SeMaFor Studios in Łódź, 1980) and The Sphinx (Irish Film Board in Dublin, 2006).

During their time in Poland Danusia Schejbal and Andrzej Klimowski discovered that working alongside each other and collaborating artistically had a family precedent. Danusia’s great uncle, Stanisław Sheybal, had studied painting with Andrzej’s great uncle, Stanisław Klimowski, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. Stanisław Sheybal’s son Vladek Sheybal became a renowned actor in Poland and in the UK. Danusia’s love for art and the theatre was deeply rooted. Both Schejbal and Klimowski worked as designers for leading theatres in Poland but on their return to the UK they moved towards painting, illustration and publishing graphic novels.

They are in the process of setting up Amnesia Screwball, a family run business, producing designs for the home such as limited-edition prints, cushions, scarves, ceramics and soaps.