At TAP Creativity Exhibition of Light Forms Art Photography by Ela Kurowska. A photo by Paul LambertPhoto by Paul Lambert

Artist's Statement

This series of works has evolved from my long lasting interest in photography and from my passion for life sciences. I explore an abstract view of the origins of life, attempting to visualize overpowering forces that compel the natural world to create and develop life. My art depicts transformation from organic matter to living organisms, where simple life forms emerge from the darkness, bursting with light and vibrant colors.

I started a photo-based art project “Light Forms” after stumbling across an old, long forgotten visualization technique from the field of material science. This technique utilizes polarized light to visualize stresses in solid, transparent materials subjected to deformations. Very quickly I realized that modifying this approach to employ organic gels – a softer and more malleable material – presented me with a medium of an enormous artistic potential. Using my biochemistry lab skills, I started experimenting.

I have since discovered and applied diverse methodologies that transform amorphous, translucent organic gels into colorful, luminescent, three-dimensional compositions resembling living organisms. This conceptual transformation is realized through the gels’ conversion from liquid to solid that is physically influenced by steps such as heating, molding, arranging, sculpting, or stressing. The otherworldly colors and light effects of the images are achieved by the use of polarizer filters.


  • 2020 Traffic Signal Wrap Public Art Initiative, London ON
  • 2020 CONTACT Scotiabank Photography Festival, Toronto (cancelled due to COVID-19)
  • 2020 Fringe Gallery group show, London ON
  • 2019 Budapest International Foto Awards winners exhibition, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2019 Solo show, Dept. of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Western University, London ON
  • 2019 Solo show, One London Place, London ON
  • 2018 Unkle Collective Annual Art Show, London ON
  • 2018 "Light Forms" solo exhibition, TAP Centre for Creativity, London ON
  • 2018 Solo exhibition, Galerie Luz, Montreal
  • 2018 "Being Scene" group exhibition, Workman Arts, Toronto
  • 2017 Unkle Collective Annual Art Show and Sale, London ON
  • 2017 SONY World Photography Awards winners and shortlist exhibition, London UK
  • 2017 Fringe Gallery show, London ON
  • 2016 "Light Forms" solo exhibition, Akasha Art Projects, Toronto
  • 2016 Unkle Collective Fine Art Group Show, London ON
  • 2016 The Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair, Toronto
  • 2015 “TEN” art photography group exhibition, Gallery 50, Toronto
  • 2014 “Origins” solo exhibition in Galleria 814, CONTACT Scotiabank Photography Festival
  • 2014 “Illumination: An Exhibition of Fine Art Photography” group exhibition in Agora Gallery, Chelsea, NY
  • 2013 “Genesis” solo exhibition in Galeria Schody, Warsaw, Poland

Awards & Distinctions

  • 2020 Honorable Mention, Professional Abstract category, International Color Awards
  • 2020 Tokyo International Foto Awards, Professional Gold in Science/Other, 1st Place Winner in Science
  • 2020 Honorable Mention, ND Awards
  • 2020 2nd Place, Professional Special Category, International Photography Awards
  • 2020 Image selected, Traffic Signal Wrap public art initiative, London Art Council
  • 2020 Image selected, LoosenArt Mag/Gallery online exhibition
  • 2020 Shortlisted, Creative Photo Awards, Siena, Italy
  • 2020 Nominee, International Color Awards
  • 2020 Best project promotion, Dodho Magazine
  • 2019 1st Place, Science Category, Budapest International Photo Awards
  • 2019 Honorable Mention, Chromatic Awards
  • 2019 Honorable Mention, ND Awards
  • 2019 Winner, Emerging Photographer Fall contest, Photo District News
  • 2019 Winner, Tuŝis – Manipulated Photography Contest, Dek Unu Magazine
  • 2019 Honorable Mention, International Photography Awards (IPA)
  • 2019 Three images selected for the F-Stop Magazine, Issue #95, Open Theme
  • 2019 Nominee, International Color Awards
  • 2018 Honorable Mention, Chromatic Awards
  • 2018 Honorable Mention, ND Awards
  • 2018 Honorable Mention, International Photography Awards (IPA)
  • 2018 Honorable Mention, Moscow International Photo Awards
  • 2018 Exhibition grant from the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
  • 2018 Project funding from the London Arts Council, Community Arts Investment Program
  • 2018 Two nominations, International Color Awards
  • 2018 Image selected for the cover of the F-Stop Magazine, Issue #87 Beauty/Beautiful
  • 2018 Two images selected for the F-Stop Magazine, Issue #87 Beauty/Beautiful
  • 2017 Honorable Mention, ND Awards
  • 2017 Finalist, Photographer's Forum Magazine
  • 2017 Invited talk "Art, Science. Transmission", Curiosity Collider, Vancouver BC
  • 2017 Shortlisted for the D&AD Next Photographer Award, London UK
  • 2017 Winner, 2nd Place, Canada National Award, 2017 SONY World Photography Awards
  • 2017 Shortlisted, Nature Category of the Open Competition, 2017 SONY World Photography Awards
  • 2016 9th Place, Overall Winning Category, All Photography Art Competition, Light, Space & Time Online Art Gallery
  • 2016 Winner, Special Merit Category, All Photography Art Competition, Light, Space & Time Online Art Gallery
  • 2016 Finalist, Photographer's Forum Magazine
  • 2016 Winner, UNTAPPED Emerging Artist competition, The Artist Project, Toronto
  • 2016 Image selected for the F-Stop Magazine, Issue #75 Wonder-Full
  • 2016 Image selected for SNAP! Silent Auction, Toronto
  • 2015 Honorable Mention, Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA) Fine Art-Abstract Category
  • 2014 Honorable Mention, International Photography Awards (IPA) Fine Art Abstract Non-Pro Category
  • 2014 Light Forms image selected for the Macro assignment story, National Geographic
  • 2014 Grand Prize, Second Annual Bayfield Fall Foto Fest

Publications & Presentations

  • 2020 Feature article, Science Dong-A Magazine, November Issue, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2020 Abstractions Exhibition Catalogue, LoosenArt Magazine
  • 2020 Invited presentation, London Camera Club, London ON
  • 2020 Featured Artist, Photoworld Bulgaria Camera Club, online interview
  • 2020 Invited presentation, Forest City Photographers’ Guild, London ON
  • 2020 Photo of the Day, Smithsonian Magazine
  • 2019 Photo District News (PDN) Magazine, Emerging Photographer, Fall issue
  • 2019 Featured Artist, October issue, Dek Unu Magazine
  • 2019 Art-science educational blog interview by Dassault Systems, Waltham US
  • 2019 Three images published in Sirha World Cuisine Summit, Lyon, France
  • 2018 "Science meets art in new exhibition at TAP Centre for Creativity" by Joe Belanger, The London Free Press
  • 2017 Image published in May issue of Practical Photography Magazine, UK
  • 2017 "Old technique brings light to art" by Joe Belanger, The London Free Press
  • 2017 "Image shines light on London artist" by Joe Belanger, The London Free Press
  • 2017 "Shaping the Origins of Life with Elzbieta Kurowska" image story published by Faculty Magazine
  • 2016 "Ela's Worlds" documentary screened at the 25th Annual St. Louis International Film Festival
  • 2016 "Ela's Worlds" received the Best Documentary award at Go West Fest Short Film & Screenplay Festival, Oakhurst, Yosemite
  • 2016 Image published in no 7 July issue of fotoMAGAZIN, Hamburg, Germany
  • 2016 Image selected by major Toronto events website toronto.com to advertise CONTACT Photography Festival.
  • 2016 "Ela's Worlds" documentary nominated in the category Best Documentary under 45 min at the Second Annual Northern Virginia International Film & Music Festival
  • 2016 Featured in Toronto Guardian “10 Artists That We Can’t” Keep Our Eyes Off”
  • 2015 “Ela’s Worlds”, a short documentary film about the Light Forms project created by Vera Neverkevich (filmmaker) and Ela Kurowska (artist), PUTORANA FILMS


  • Canadian Association for Photographic Art
  • London Community Artists


  • Development of Light Forms photography technique since 2013
  • Over twenty years of research in the field of biochemistry
  • Forty five peer reviewed papers published in scientific journals
  • Three patents


  • Ph.D., Biochemistry
  • M.Sc., Biochemistry