Chews a character
Patricia Grabowicz

Winner 17/18 — Jury Statement:

Chewing, in its proper definition, is a mechanical activity to grind food to prepare it for chemical processing. But looking at it from a cultural context and in history, we find a multitude of interesting connections and phrases connected to chewing. At night, we “chew our teeth.” When we are nervous, we “chew our fingernails” and we spend hours “chewing over a problem.“ Even the way we chew—from vigorously biting to carefully nibbling—says a lot about our character. This inspired Patricia Grabowicz to develop her ironic set of forty-five symbols “Chews a Character. “ Applying a humorous lens, she analyzes the shape of chewing gums that anonymous “users” have contributed to her project. Whether inflexible, optimistic, or minimalistic: each shape that has been chewed paints a precise picture of human emotions and characteristics. As a collector of everyday leftovers, Grabowicz creates a bizarre anthropological archive that points out the emphasis on the individual in our Western philosophy and translates it into a visual system. This system has the potential to grow into a myriad of distinct symbols: all based on a mundane everyday activity. Grabowicz successfully and skillfully applies the means of visual language to take a tiny fraction of our everyday life and turn it into sturdy and massive sculptures representing societal interactions.

Chews A Character

In general, the human character is communicated through language and words. This inspired me to create an iconic translation for this subject. The idea was to create forty-five images of different chewing gums, which are then related to specific human features. “Chews a Character“ takes an iconic approach to bringing out a person’s features in a very ironic and subjective way. Hence, I chose the character according to the gum’s appearance. The human mind is inscrutable and precious, and so is each person’s individuality and uniqueness. That’s why each of my symbols appears in an odd yet detailed manner.

Patricia Grabowicz

Patricia is a communication designer. She was born in the Ruhr area in West Germany and moved to Switzerland in 2010 where she enrolled at the Basel Academy of Art and Design three years later. Her focus is on photography, illustration, graphic and motion design. As a designer, she combines divers methodologies of visual communication to capture the essence of an issue and discover unique solutions. Patricia specifically enjoys hybrid practices that combine digital and analog aspects. This is reflected in her editorial design, poster design and typography.