Presented works from the period 1996-1999 were made during my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. Sculptures No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 are result of the work under the tutoring of prof. Stefan Borzęcki. Works No. 6, 8, 7, were made in studio of prof. Tim Scott at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Nuremberg, during the Erazmus student exchange program. Sculpture No. 9 was, at that time, a kind of summary of my experience with figurative sculpture. It was a major figure from the diploma work, realised in studio of prof. Jerzy Nowakowski in 1999.
I started my study of a sculpture with a careful observation of the human body`s proportions and the space it can occupy.
The first plaster and clay statues are made in years 1994-96. The following stage is characterised by gradually giving statues a subjective expression through deformities and introducting a symbol as a means of expression. At that time my understanding of relations between form and content, "beauty" and proportion as well as dynamics and composition was being shaped.
As regards works completed between 1996 and 1999 the form of the sculptures is determined to a great extend by the content and is shown in a symbolic way.
The next step in my way was focusing rather on formal aspects of the sculptures produced, analysing natural structures and constructions for better understanding of relations and forces shaping forms in nature as well as using this awareness while working on the sculpture in order to improve its quality.
As next quite a radical shift of stress from content to formal relations between elements is taking place. The theme of the sculptures is being narrowed down to the problems connected with showing the human body, dynamics and motion. External resemblance and realistic description of forms is being replaced more often with abstract structures possessing internal integrity and clarity.
Works produced at that time came to exist on the basis of analysis of the body`s bone and muscle structures, particularly covering connections between forms (joints) as well as tensions during motion between opposite forces which crucially shape the form and determine the dynamics of a system.
The photographs presented show effects of such an analytic work on a chosen system of motion (a figure standing on one leg). Moreover, they show several sculptural solutions to this problem depending on a material used.
Beginning with a bone and muscle system`s pattern, the selected parts (particularly the hip joints) are gradually taking a new character by giving up natural solutions and replacing them with abstract forms which are to express the essence or the logic of an analysed motion.
Later on this basis sculptures made of harder materials (wood and steel) are produced. Keeping the same idea they are different in solutions depending on the character of a material they are made of various construction possibilities that these materials have.
I experienced such analytic way of work from the body as a base and an inspiration for executed sculptures as one of the students of Tim Scott at Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Nuremberg /Germany/. The Artist and Sculptor ,who I am particularly grateful for his essential contribution to my understanding and love for sculpture.
the sculptures produced at that time are result of my quest for an syntesis and balance between several aspects of experience shaping through hundreds of years the character of the definition of sculpture. The character and the limit which once exceeded makes this definitions lose its meaning and value.
The final shape of this work is determined by the series of formal assumptions:
body is the starting point, the theme. The shape of individual forms is the result of the functions they perform in the whole system and of physical forces that operate on body shaping its particular elements.
Although this sculpture is inspired by the logic of motion and the human body build – hips and a leg (volleyball seat), it remains an abstract structure and avoid realistic imitation of nature. It should make impression of “bodiness” rather through analogy and associations (here even the colour of a chosen wood was important).
The combination of the two values difficult to be shown simultaneously: the internal logic of the construction and the external expression of the body. Hence, there appear forms fluently connected together with soft linear patterns being confronted with sharply, geometrically formulated forms representing harder internal structures.
The whole is a sequence of strongly contrasted single forms fluently combined together. This unification is not due to a clear meaning, theme or a title but due to a formal harmonisation of the parts on the level of the smallest connections and the points of joints. Basing on the same assumptions, even the invisible but perceptible planes and elements are dealt with here. This sculpture constitutes the actual structures and is not only its superficial description – a tale of a structure.
The shaping of a form takes place both by subtraction and addition of a material (constructing) as well as by using a natural model and irregularities of wood in order to emphasise the material and flexibility of the elements.
The method of work with the material and the final shape result from the dialogue between the idea (the body, the analysis of the system of forces) and the possibilities that the material has. It is important to understand the character of the material and to use its properties. If this dialogue is to be successful, the sculpture should lose its character or even its meaning when attempted to be imitated accurately in a different material.
The “shapes” series
After the “still position” sculpture the analytic character of my work reached the expression that I did not want to deepen. Further work in this manner was threatened by adopting the way of thinking and creating characteristic of such domains as design, architecture or machine design. In these domains as well as in nature the very function of a designed object plays the crucial role in shaping of forms, which presently in my opinion is not the most important thing as far as the sculpture is concerned. Therefore, in this series of sculptures I decided on a more intuitive and open to creativity way of composing forms and looking for an order, especially in case of such works as “the three graces”, “stories for two keys” and “the sign”. These works consist of parts combined together. Particular elements (shapes) here gain more and more individual expression and a separate message. The next assumption was an attempt to open the way to the possibilities of combining parts into different configurations (“stories for two keys”).
Another formal assumption was to join the geometrical world of forms, straight lines and planes with the world of soft limited shapes. As a part of the whole idea of this work there is also a question: what space possibilities does an ordinary trunk have? The possibilities are not typical. There are interesting solutions in such a limited space ( the diameter and the length of a chosen piece of wood).
This space limitation was one of the most important assumptions and it was to cause the expansion of the carved elements into the sculpture and not outside as it takes place in most of constructive sculptures.
The most powerful inspiration for this sculpture came to be the elements of the traditional eastern calligraphy – variability and continuity of a line which is left by the traces of a paintbrush while writing. This art appeared to me to be the highest praise of motion and its dynamics as well as the praise of life as a never ending river of changes. Wishing to grasp this aspect in the three-dimensional language of sculpture, I used in my work very irregular and twisted fragments of wood extracting the pattern of lines and tensions in its structure. Concurrently, the whole is determined and ordered by a very subjective and intuitive search for order and meaning that I wanted to extract from the subconscious rather than from the rational presumptions and logical pursuit of a given aim.
The idea should be quite clear: the confrontation of the two materials (elements of nature) such as steel and wood with a stress put on their contrasts and similarities. Accordingly, here appears a fragile and flexible steel construction which standing on one point constitutes a surprising counter-weight to a relatively big and solid wooden form.
(descriptions written in years 1999-2003)